NEWS
Tuesday October 11 2011
Line-ups: Giovinco's Irish chance

Sebastian Giovinco receives his first Italy start in Italy's final Euro 2012 qualifier against Northern Ireland.

The Azzurri have already booked their spot in the tournament with seven wins and two draws, having conceded only two goals.

Cesare Prandelli rings the changes for this last test at the Stadio Adriatico in Pescara, giving Parma talent Giovinco his first start at senior level, partnering Antonio Cassano.

Riccardo Montolivo, Andrea Pirlo, Daniele De Rossi, Gigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini retain their spots after the 1-1 draw with Serbia.

As expected, Claudio Marchisio is not even on the bench after spraining his ankle in Belgrade, but it's all change in defence and midfield with Mattia Cassani, Alberto Aquilani and Federico Barzagli among those stepping in.

Northern Ireland have failed to qualify for the play-offs and are under-strength for this match, missing Lee Camp, Chris Brunt, Sammy Clingan, Grant McCann and Craig Cathcart.

It's a special occasion for 40-year-old goalkeeper Maik Taylor, who makes his 88th and final appearance for his country.

It is also the last match for manager Nigel Worthington, who won just two of his last 23 games in charge of Northern Ireland.

Italy have won all five of their previous home meetings with Northern Ireland and their total record is of five wins, two draws and one defeat in January 1958.

Italy: Buffon; Cassani, Barzagli, Chiellini, Balzaretti; De Rossi, Pirlo, Aquilani; Montolivo; Cassano, Giovinco

Italy bench: De Sanctis, Maggio, Cigarini, Osvaldo, Astori, Rossi, Nocerino

Northern Ireland: Taylor; Hodson, McAuley, Baird, McGivern; Little, Davis, C Evans, Norwood; Gorman, Healy

Northern Ireland bench: Mannus, McLaughlin, Feeney, McCourt, McGinn

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