AZZURRI

Claudio Marchisio is cautiously optimistic for Italy in the face of playing Spain at the weekend, knocking down suggestions of a repeat of the last World Cup.
Italy let a two-goal lead slide away to the Republic of Ireland in Monday afternoon’s European Under-21 Championship qualifying match.
Italy’s injury fears for Euro 2012 have taken another turn for the worse as Mario Balotelli was reportedly forced to abandon Monday’s training session.
Ignazio Abate is confident that Italy will have a good European Championship despite Friday’s 3-0 friendly loss to Russia.
Andrea Barzagli could potentially be ruled out of the 2012 European Championship after the Italian picked up an injury.
Italy’s Group C opponents Croatia have been dealt a blow after Ivica Olic was ruled out of Euro 2012.
Emanuele Giaccherini says he will do whatever Italy boss Cesare Prandelli may ask of him at Euro 2012.
Italian legend Sandro Mazzola accepts the national side have problems, but he wouldn’t be surprised by a semi-final spot at Euro 2012.
Ciro Ferrara hopes Italy can defeat the Republic of Ireland to secure qualification for the Under-21 European Championships.
World Cup winner Marcello Lippi has given Cesare Prandelli advice on going into Euro 2012. “It reminds me of 2006.”
Gianluigi Buffon’s lawyer has reiterated “he is not involved in the investigation” into a betting scandal after his tobacconist in Parma was raided by police.
Torino President Urbano Cairo assures he is “very proud” to see Angelo Ogbonna at Euro 2012 and will make “seven or eight quality signings.”
Spain are not happy about facing Italy in their Euro 2012 opener, especially with the current scandal. “It’ll make them even more dangerous,” said Xavi.
Italy legend Gigi Riva is “not worried” by the Azzurri’s disappointing run-in to Euro 2012. “We just aren’t good with friendlies.”
Cesare Prandelli hinted he’d switch to a 3-5-2 system against Spain and Gian Piero Gasperini agrees “many of the Azzurri come from clubs with three-man defences.”
Italy’s Euro 2012 Group C opponents Croatia were pegged back in a disappointing 1-1 friendly draw with Norway.
Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni points out Italians “are hyper-critical, but in the end always get good results.”
Lecce Coach Serse Cosmi insists he “was expecting to see such a bad Italy performance” against Russia because of the betting scandal.
Cesare Prandelli admits he was “surprised” by the extent of Italy’s defeat to Russia and will take action. “We’ll change the defence and start from scratch.”
Italy received a boost with news President Giorgio Napolitano will attend their Euro 2012 opener with Spain. “We thank him.”
Spain face Italy on June 10 and manager Vicente Del Bosque admits he is “worried about Andrea Pirlo.”
The Italy squad has left the Coverciano training ground and will not resume training until Monday, then leave for Poland on Tuesday.
Zenit St Petersburg Coach confirms Domenico Criscito is “sad” at missing out on Euro 2012 amid the betting scandal, but has faith in the Italy side.
Giovanni Trapattoni tells the Irish players not to be swayed by Italy’s defeat to Russia. “Every team has ups and downs.”
Andrea Barzagli admits Italy “lack balance and need to improve” after a dismal 3-0 demolition at the hands of Russia.