Thursday October 6 2011
Italy: Cassano and Marchisio to start

Cesare Prandelli has confirmed Antonio Cassano and Claudio Marchisio are amongst those who will start against Serbia on Friday night.

Cassano was involved in an unsavoury incident earlier in the week when he insulted a journalist, before apologising to the reporter in front of Prandelli.

The Coach has looked to put the issue behind him and confirmed that the Milan forward starts up front alongside Giuseppe Rossi.

Prandelli also confirmed Marchisio's place in the first XI during Thursday evening's Press conference. It was thought to be between the 25-year-old and Milan's Alberto Aquilani for a spot in midfield, with Marchisio seemingly have done enough in training to receive the nod.

However, where the Press conference was to announce and take questions on the starting line-up for the European Championship Group C qualifier with Serbia, questions only centred on Cassano.

"This was a serious incident that we did not need at this moment, but Antonio has before everyone apologised. He will play with [Giuseppe] Rossi from the start, [Riccardo] Montolivo behind them and Marchisio in midfield.

"The case was resolved quickly. It made me think that Cassano wanted to apologise. To me, that was enough, it was a sincere gesture. Of course, we did not need it at this time."

Italy team to face Serbia: Buffon; Maggio, Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini; Pirlo, De Rossi, Marchisio; Montolivo; Cassano, Rossi