Euro 2012 Group C Game - Italy v Republic of Ireland
Italy have conceded 1-1 draws in their first two games against Spain and Croatia after taking the lead Reuters

Italy go into their final group match in Euro 2012 against the Republic of Ireland at Poznan with worries that results elsewhere may take knockout qualification out of their hands.

Football News Roundup - 18/06/12 IBTimes TV


The Azzurri must win if they are to have any hopes of staying alive in the competition, while Ireland, who are already eliminated, aim to salvage some pride in their final game.

Cesare Prandelli's men have conceded 1-1 draws in their first two games after taking the lead. The Italians will be forced to pile the pressure on Ireland, as they might need more than just three points from this game. Goal difference could come into play if Spain and Croatia draw in the other simultaneous fixture.

Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni is not ready to move over for his homeland and has named his strongest side for this clash. Damien Duff will captain the side against Italy, instead of Robbie Keane, as the Fulham man celebrates his 100th appearance for the Republic.

Team News and Tactics:

Italy: The Azzurri will be boosted with the return of centre-back Andrea Barzagli, who missed the first two games with a thigh injury. Prandelli will revert to the 4-1-3-2 formation (from the current 3-5-2) if the Juventus man passes a late fitness test, with Thiago Motta set to make way. Daniele De Rossi will sit in front of the defence with Claudio Marchisio, Andrea Pirlo and Emanuele Giaccherini ahead of him. A knee problem might force striker Mario Balotelli to miss this clash and if the Manchester City forward fails to recover in time, Udinese captain Antonio Di Natale is waiting to partner Antonio Cassano.

Ireland: Trapattoni will continue his 4-4-2 formation, with Kevin Doyle back in the starting line-up to partner Keane up front, replacing West Bromwich Albion's Simon Cox. Shay Given could make his final international appearance on Monday after earlier stating he was contemplating retirement from the national team. John O'Shea, Richard Dunne, Sean St Ledger and Stephen Ward will line-up at the back as usual. Duff and Aiden McGeady will be on the wings, with Keith Andrews and Glenn Whelan in the centre.


  • Italy are undefeated in their last 12 competitive matches
  • Ireland have beaten the Azzurri only twice in the last 10 meetings
  • Irish coach Trapattoni previously brought Italy to Euro 2004, where they were knocked out in the group stage despite not losing a game (1 win, 2 draws)
  • Balotelli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Christian Maggio and Riccardo Montolivo are all a booking away from suspension

Probable starting line-up:

Italy (4-1-3-2): Buffon; Maggio, Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini; De Rossi; Marchisio, Pirlo, Giaccherini; Di Natale, Cassano

Ireland (4-4-2): Given; O'Shea, Dunne, St Ledger, Ward; Duff, Andrews, Whelan, McGeady; Keane, Long

Where to Watch Live:

You can follow the game live from 7.15 pm BST on BBC Three, as well as BBC Radio 5 live and the official UEFA Web site. You can also catch highlights on BBC One and the BBC Sport Web site.