NEWS
Monday November 18 2013
Line-ups: Italy-Nigeria

Giuseppe Rossi and Mario Balotelli lead a revamped Italy side against Nigeria in London this evening.

The international friendly kicks off at 19.45 GMT at Craven Cottage, the stadium that is home to Fulham FC.

The Azzurri are fresh from a 1-1 friendly draw with Germany, while Nigeria secured their World Cup qualification in a play-off against Ethiopia on Saturday.

Cesare Prandelli marks his 50th match in charge of Italy, so far having won 24, drawn 14 and lost 11. Curiously, eight of those defeats were in friendlies and the Nazionale had one non-competitive victory over the last two years.

Prandelli finally gets the opportunity to field the first choice front two of Rossi and Balotelli, as the Fiorentina striker missed the Germany game due to tonsillitis.

Daniele De Rossi was hoping to recover from a sprained toe, but he is not even on the bench, while the team is radically changed from Friday evening, including PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu earning his seventh cap.

Nigeria have only ever faced Italy once before, losing 2-1 in extra time at the 1994 World Cup, when Roberto Baggio bagged a late brace.

The name that stands out for Serie A fans is Eddy Onazi, who plays in the Lazio midfield.

The proceeds from tonight’s game will go to the victims of the typhoon in the Philippines, in conjunction with UNICEF.

Italy: Sirigu; Maggio, Ranocchia, Ogbonna, Pasqual; Thiago Motta, Montolivo, Giaccherini; Candreva; Rossi, Balotelli

Nigeria: Ejide; Oboabona, Kwambe, Egwuekwe, Benjamin; Onazi, Mikel; Oduamadi, Dike, Moses; Ameobi

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