Cesare Prandelli goes into Italy’s second game of Euro 2012, against Croatia, with the same starting XI that held Spain to a draw on Sunday.
As expected the Coach has named the same team to face up to Slaven Bilic’s side that started against Spain, meaning that Daniele De Rossi keeps his place in the centre of a three-man defence, flanked by Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.
Claudio Marchisio and Thiago Motta will again sit either side of Andrea Pirlo in midfield, whilst Christian Maggio and Emanuele Giaccherini will provide width. Giaccherini was rumoured to be replaced by Federico Balzaretti, but has kept his spot.
Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano are again the starting partnership in attack, with Sunday’s goalscorer Antonio Di Natale left on the bench, despite suggestions earlier in the week that the Udinese man would replace Balotelli in the line-up.
Croatia go into Group C’s second round of fixtures with no injury concerns and the same starting line-up that defeated Republic of Ireland on Sunday evening 3-1.
That means De Rossi will be up against Nikica Jelavic and Mario Mandzukic, who have both already netted in the tournament.
Italy: Buffon; Bonucci, De Rossi, Chiellini; Maggio, Motta, Pirlo, Marchisio, Giaccherini; Cassano, Balotelli
Croatia: Pletikosa; Srna, Corluka, Schildenfeld, Strinic; Rakitic, Vukojevic, Perisic; Modric; Jelavic, Mandzukic