17th of June 2012 Author: Glo Wood
Italy need a win but that could not be enough as they also must hope that the clash between Spain and Croatia does not end in a 2-2 draw or higher in order to advance to the last eight. The Irish have nothing left to play for other than pride, but everybody knows that they will not go down without a fight.
Here are the probable line ups:
Buffon - Maggio, Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini - De Rossi - Marchisio, Pirlo, Giaccherini - Di Natale, Cassano
Given - O'Shea, Dunne, St Ledger, Ward - Duff, Andrews, Whelan, McGeady - Keane, Long
Italy welcomes back Andrea Barzagli into the centre of the defence after missing the first two games with a thigh injury. That means coach Cesare Prandelli will probably revert back to a four-man defence, but only if Barzagli will be fit. Mario Balotelli picked up a knee problem during Saturday's training and will probably not be available as he will undergo further tests to determine the extent of his injury. Antonio Di Natale will likely join Antonio Cassano in attack.
Ireland have already been eliminated from the tournament after their heavy defeat to Spain on Thursday and will have only pride to play for. Goalkeeper Shay Given could make his final appearance for national team after stating that he is considering retirement from international football.
Here are the match odds from Bet365:
Italy - 3/10
Draw - 9/2
Ireland - 10/1
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