Nigel Worthington
Nigel Worthington takes his Northern Ireland side to Italy for his final match in charge. REUTERS

Tuesday, 11 October
Italy v Northern Ireland
Adriatico, Pescara
1945 BST
Where to watch: In the U.S., Rai International will broadcast live coverage from 1445 EDT.

Preview: Northern Ireland travel to Italy for manager Nigel Worthington's last game in charge as they look to restore a modicum of pride to their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.

Worthington announced his resignation after four years in charge Monday but the tactician will hope to bow out in style in Pescara this evening.

"I feel the time has come [to step down] after four and a half years which have been fantastic for me as an individual," he said Monday. "Sometimes when you try to get blood out of a stone there's only so much you can get.

"I think I've gone as far as I can with the group we've got. I feel it is only right to give the association and players the opportunity and time to move forward and that is why I have decided that Tuesday night's game will be my last in charge."

Last week's 2-1 defeat at home to Estonia ended Northern Ireland's slim play-off hopes and Worthington conceded his side's third straight loss was a disappointment.

"There were genuine mistakes in the last three games - something that was not there in the previous matches," he said.

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli is expected to make wholesale changes for Tuesday's final Group C qualifier.

The Azzurri have hit 17 goals in nine games, conceding just twice en route to securing automatic qualification and Worthington acknowledged his side face a stern test in Pescara.

"They are among the strongest teams in the world," he said. "Prandelli has done a good job to renovate the team."

Parma forward Sebastian Giovinco is set to partner Antonio Cassano up front for Italy, with Palermo's Federico Balzaretti and Fiorentina's Mattia Cassani also likely to start.

"I would like to evaluate some players that have had limited playing time so far," Prandelli said. "Giovinco has a lot of quality and will start."

"I expect a further improvement on Tuesday with respect to our game in Serbia," Prandelli said.
"The game against Serbia was an important test for us and I thought my team played well and showed a lot of character.

"I want the same focus and determination against Northern Ireland. I want my team to play well and to win."