Monday June 18 2012
Italy to make four changes

Cesare Prandelli will make four changes to his Italy side for the game against the Republic of Ireland – as well as reverting back to a 4-3-1-2.

The Azzurri had used an unchanged 3-5-2 in their 1-1 draws with Spain and Croatia, but they will go back to the shape they developed during qualification tonight.

Gianluigi Buffon will start in goal behind a defence which will include three new faces for the tournament.

Ignazio Abate replaces Christian Maggio on the right, while Federico Balzaretti comes in for Emanuele Giaccherini on the left.

Andrea Barzagli, now back after injury, will step in for Juventus teammate Leonardo Bonucci.

Daniele De Rossi, used as a stopper in the first two games, will return to midfield duties alongside Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio. Thiago Motta will be asked to do a job in a more advanced role.

Up top, Antonio Di Natale will replace Mario Balotelli to form a strike partnership with Antonio Cassano.

Italy probable: Buffon; Abate, Barzagli, Chiellini, Balzaretti; De Rossi, Pirlo, Marchisio; Motta; Cassano, Di Natale.