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World Cup Qualifying Game Time Thread: Italy vs. Bulgaria

Jasper Juinen

International weeks suck. That's the damn truth and I don't think many around these parts will disagree with what I've just typed down on my keyboard. And it's even worse when the breaks come two games into the Juventus season, one where things just look like they're starting to really come together and then...poof...they're gone for a little while.

Ah, but at least now of hearing about transfer rumors we can watch an actual game. Yeah, actual games are cool! And Italy is close to wrapping up a place at next year's World Cup! See, not everything is a complete loss.

Who's with me?!


Okay, so maybe it isn't Juventus. But it's the next best thing. And it's not like the past couple of days have been completely boring. Ya know, with everybody speculating about Cesare Prandelli's future on the Italy bench to who might take his place, Italy's training camp has been a little more interesting (?) than most weeks. Not just the low-key, let's-get-ready-for-a-match kind of business that usually goes on during the international breaks.

"I was amazed with the amount of rumors about my successor. But I have not decided about my future — and I say that sincerely. I will think about it in due course, but for the moment, we face a difficult challenge to qualify.

"Bulgaria will not be an easy team to deal with tomorrow. They have a great ability to go from defense to attack. They are going to be a really tough opponent. They have the ability to really put us in trouble, but I hope that does not happen in Palermo. I don't want to give anything away, but we haven't decided yet who will start the match."

(Source: Football Italia)

Don't worry, Cesare, the Italian press is here to speculate for you.

Predicted Italy XI (4-3-2-1): Buffon; Abate, Bonucci, Chiellini, Antonelli; Thiago Motta, De Rossi, Pirlo; Candreva, Giaccherini; Gilardino

Whatever works to pass the time, I guess.

Hey, just another day we are into this current international break, another day we are closer to it being over. Sounds a little better when it's written that way, isn't it? Yeah, I thought so, too. And the Gigi Buffon Countdown To Italy's Record Caps is expected to keep rolling strong. Why? Because it damn well better, that's why.


!Italy XI (4-3-2-1) : Buffon; Abate, Bonucci, Chiellini, Antonelli; Thiago Motta, Pirlo, De Rossi; Candreva, Insigne; Gilardino

Italy bench: Sirigu, Marchetti, Maggio, Astori, Ranocchia, Aquilani, Diamanti, Florenzi, Verratti, El Shaarawy, Gabbiadini, Giaccherini

Bulgaria XI (4-2-3-1): Mihaylov; Y Minev, Bodurov, Ivanov, V Minev; Dyakov; Manolev, Iliev, Gadzhev, Popov; Tonev

Bulgaria bench: Stoyanov, Zanev, Dimitrov, J Hristov, Milanov, Alexandrov, Delev, Rangelov, Nedelev, Zlatinsky, V Hristov, Gargorov