Cesare Prandelli’s starting XI for Italy’s World Cup 2014 qualifier against Bulgaria is beginning to take shape.
The Azzurri boss has some decisions to make given a number of suspensions for Friday’s game in Palermo.
Italy will be without the banned Milan striker Mario Balotelli, Southampton forward Pablo Daniel Osvaldo and midfielder Riccardo Montolivo.
Juventus centre-back Andrea Barzagli is also missing after he returned to Turin on Monday because of injury.
Italy should line-up with a 4-3-2-1 system with Leonardo Bonucci coming into the team in place of Barzagli.
Milan’s Ignazio Abate and Genoa’s Luca Antonelli should be the full-backs.
Recalled Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Thiago Motta is being tipped to start, while Antonio Candreva of Lazio and Sunderland’s Emanuele Giaccherini could support lone striker Alberto Gilardino.
Italy possible: Buffon: Abate, Bonucci, Chiellini, Antonelli; Thiago Motta, De Rossi, Pirlo; Candreva, Giaccherini; Gilardino.
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