NEWS
Friday March 25 2011
Line-ups: Pazzini-Cassano lead Italy

Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini start in Italy's Euro 2012 qualifier against Slovenia, who field several Serie A players.

The Azzurri are without Daniele De Rossi and Mario Balotelli, who were dropped after breaking the code of ethics by picking up bans for violent conduct on club duty.

Italy currently top Group C with 10 points, but a defeat in Ljubljana would put Slovenia level with them.

Cesare Prandelli fields a 4-3-1-2 system with Christian Maggio, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Federico Balzaretti in defence.

The diamond midfield has Stefano Mauri as the top point in front of Alberto Aquilani, Riccardo Montolivo and the fit-again Thiago Motta.

Ex-Sampdoria partners Cassano and Pazzini form the attacking duo.

Several Serie A stars are in the Slovenia squad, including Palermo duo Josip Ilicic and Armin Bacinovic, but they start from the bench.

Udinese goalkeeper Samir Handanovic lines up with Chelsea defenders Bostjan Cesar and Bojan Jokic.

Ex-Parma, Empoli, Cremonese, Frosinone and Piacenza forward Zlatko Dedic also starts.

These nations had their first meeting in the Euro '96 qualifiers and in total Italy's record is of two wins, a draw and two defeats.

It must be noted the Nazionale have never won in Slovenia with just one point from two visits.

Slovenia: S Handanovic; Brecko, Cesar, Suler, Jokic; Birsa, Koren, Radosavljevic, Kirm; Dedic, Novakovic

Slovenia bench: J Handanovic, Andjelkovic, Ljubijankic, Bacinovic, Ilicic, Sukalo, Mavric

Italy: Buffon; Maggio, Bonucci, Chiellini, Balzaretti; Aquilani, Thiago Motta, Montolivo; Mauri; Pazzini, Cassano

Italy bench: Viviano, Criscito, Marchisio, Gilardino, Gastaldello, Rossi, Nocerino

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