NEWS
Sunday June 16 2013
Line-ups: Mexico-Italy

The Azzurri have Mario Balotelli and a new system in their Confederations Cup opener against Javier Hernandez’s Mexico.

It kicks off at the legendary Maracanà in Rio de Janeiro at 20.00 UK time (19.00 GMT), following on from last night’s Group A opener Brazil 3-0 Japan.

Balotelli has recovered from a minor muscular problem he felt during training on Friday, so is in the starting XI.

There is a new 4-3-2-1 system with Juventus duo Emanuele Giaccherini – who scored Italy’s fastest ever goal after 19 seconds against Haiti this week – and Claudio Marchisio.

The midfield is made up of Andrea Pirlo (marking his 100th cap), Daniele De Rossi and Riccardo Montolivo, while Giorgio Chiellini returns to centre-back with his Juve partner Andrea Barzagli.

Milan full-backs Mattia De Sciglio and Ignazio Abate complete the line-up with goalkeeper Gigi Buffon. The Azzurri will be wearing their white away strip.

Mexico look to Manchester United star ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez with support from Giovani Dos Santos.

El Tri have been struggling in World Cup qualifiers, drawing five of their last six games, four of them ending 0-0.

A stalemate against Costa Rica was particularly disappointing on Tuesday and Coach Jose de la Torre is under pressure.

Italy do not have a great record against Mexico, as they haven’t won since a 2-0 friendly in January 1993.

However, the Azzurri have lost only once, 2-1 in another friendly in Brussels in June 2010, along with six wins and four 1-1 draws.

Chilean referee Enrique Osses is a controversial figure who in 2005 was punched in the face by a player, this year took five minutes to send off Nacional defender Alejandro Lembo despite showing him a second yellow card in the Copa Libertadores and this season flashed 89 yellow cards and 12 reds in just 15 games.

Mexico: Corona; Flores, Rodriguez, Moreno, Salcido; Torrado, Aquino; Zavala, Giovani Dos Santos, Guardado; Hernandez

Italy: Buffon; Abate, Barzagli, Chiellini, De Sciglio; De Rossi, Pirlo, Montolivo; Marchisio, Giaccherini; Balotelli

Ref: Osses (CHI)

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