NEWS
Sunday June 24 2012
Line-ups: England-Italy

Italy have Riccardo Montolivo in for Thiago Motta with Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli against England in Kiev.

Tonight’s Euro 2012 quarter-final at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev will decide who goes through to face Germany in the next round.

Cesare Prandelli kept his cards close to his chest, but has stuck with the 4-2-3-1 system that took them to a 2-0 victory over the Republic of Ireland.

This means Daniele De Rossi is used in midfield rather than as part of a three-man defence, while Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci are centre-backs in the absence of the injured Giorgio Chiellini.

The major doubt was in the top end of the diamond, as Thiago Motta was carrying a slight thigh problem from training earlier this week.

The PSG star has been left on the bench in favour of Montolivo, who receives his first start of the tournament.

Ex-Fiorentina man Montolivo, who joined Milan over the summer on a free transfer, had been dropped after the disastrous 3-0 friendly defeat to Russia.

In attack it’s Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli renewing their partnership after Antonio Di Natale started against Ireland.

England finished top of their group thanks to a 1-1 draw with France, 3-2 victory over Sweden and 1-0 win against Ukraine.

Wayne Rooney was suspended for the first two matches, but returned with a goal in the last outing.

Roy Hodgson names an unchanged line-up from the one that squeezed past Ukraine, as Danny Welbeck partners Rooney in a 4-4-2 formation.

Over the last 35 years these teams have played out six Azzurri victories, two draws and a single English win at Le Tournoi in 1997.

England: Hart; Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Cole; Milner, Gerrard, Parker, Young; Rooney, Welbeck

Italy: Buffon; Abate, Barzagli, Bonucci, Balzaretti; Pirlo; Marchisio, Montolivo, De Rossi; Balotelli, Cassano

Ref: Proenca (Por)

Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!

FOOTBALL ITALIA RELATED NEWS

TODAY'S FRONT PAGES