NEWS
Saturday June 22 2013
Line-ups: Italy-Brazil

Italy make several changes and adopt a new system against Brazil, while Mario Balotelli goes toe-to-toe with Neymar.

The tie kicks off in Salvador de Bahia at 20.00 UK time (19.00 GMT) and there is a heavy police and military presence around the stadium after anti-Government protests swept through the country.

This is the final Group A game in the Confederations Cup and both sides have already qualified, though the runners-up will face Spain in the semi-final.

Due to goal difference, the Azzurri must beat Brazil if they are top finish top of the group.

Andrea Pirlo and Stephan El Shaarawy are out injured, while Daniele De Rossi is suspended, so Coach Cesare Prandelli makes several changes.

Riccardo Montolivo takes the Pirlo deep-lying playmaker role, flanked by Alberto Aquilani.

The system is adjusted to a 4-2-3-1 with Alessandro Diamanti, Claudio Marchisio and Antonio Candreva supporting centre-forward Balotelli.

Ignazio Abate returns to the defence, while Leonardo Bonucci replaces his Juventus teammate Andrea Barzagli.

Brazil also adjust their side after beating Japan 3-0 and Mexico 2-0, forced to drop Paulinho due to a sprained ankle, so Lazio star Hernanes comes in.

Neymar gets the opportunity to come face-to-face with Balotelli after the pair praised each other in the media and via Twitter this week.

David Luiz starts despite fracturing his nose against Mexico, as Felipe Scolari won’t rest stars Hulk, Oscar or Fred.

Italy have not beaten Brazil since the legendary 3-2 World Cup semi-final in July 1982, notching up three defeats and three draws.

The 1994 World Cup Final is considered a 0-0 draw for statistical purposes, as it was decided on penalties.

Italy: Buffon; Abate, Bonucci, Chiellini, De Sciglio; Aquilani, Montolivo; Marchisio, Diamanti, Candreva; Balotelli

Brazil: Julio Cesar; Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo; Hernanes, Luiz Gustavo; Hulk, Oscar, Neymar; Fred

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