Cesare Prandelli is set to name a young and relatively untested Italy side for the World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria and Malta.
The Coach will announce his squad this evening and the media expect names such as PSG’s Marco Verratti, Mattia Destro of Roma, Liverpool striker Fabio Borini, Milan full-back Mattia De Sciglio and Napoli starlet Lorenzo Insigne.
Of these figures, Insigne is the only really new face, as he was not included in last month’s 2-1 friendly defeat to England.
The forward is expected to be part of the senior Azzurri side, as he was left out of the Under-21 squad this week.
Mario Balotelli is thought to be missing out, as he is due to undergo two laser eye surgeries over the next few days. The first will treat his conjunctivitis and the second his short-sightedness so he won’t have to wear contact lenses anymore.
Pablo Daniel Osvaldo could return after he was dropped from Euro 2012 for his disciplinary record, but Sebastian Giovinco and Giorgio Chiellini won’t be risked as they are recovering from injuries.
Italy travel to Sofia for the opening 2014 World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria on Friday September 7, then welcome Malta to the Stadio Braglia in Modena on Tuesday September 11.
Probable Italy squad: Buffon, De Sanctis, Viviano, Sirigu;Maggio, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Ogbonna, Balzaretti,De Sciglio (Schelotto, Astori);Pirlo, Marchisio, De Rossi, Nocerino, Thiago Motta, Diamanti, Verratti (Schelotto, Aquilani, Montolivo); Destro, Osvaldo, Borini, Insigne
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!