NEWS
Sunday October 9 2016
Line-ups: Macedonia-Italy

Marco Verratti, Ciro Immobile, Andrea Belotti and Federico Bernardeschi start as Italy visit Macedonia in a World Cup qualifier.

It kicks off in Skopje at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT), follow the build-up and action on our LIVEBLOG.

The Azzurri need a victory against one of the group whipping boys, having drawn 1-1 with Spain on Thursday.

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NEWS
Sunday October 9 2016
Nestorovski fired up for Italy

Palermo forward Ilija Nestorovski is looking forward to tonight’s World Cup qualifier between Macedonia and Italy.

It kicks off in Skopje at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

“We’re getting there, only a few hours to go until the big game, an historic match, the first competitive meeting between Italy and Macedonia,” wrote Nestorovski on social media.

“It’s a clash between my homeland and the nation where I have found a new home, in Sicily, with so many passionate people who love me and I love in return.

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NEWS
Sunday October 9 2016
Ventura revolution in Macedonia?

Italy could make six changes to the starting XI for tonight’s World Cup qualifier in Macedonia after a 1-1 draw with Spain.

It kicks off in Skopje at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

Some adjustments are forced after Thursday’s stalemate in Turin, as Riccardo Montolivo is injured and Graziano Pellè frozen out for disrespecting Coach Giampiero Ventura.

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NEWS
Sunday October 9 2016
Tavecchio: 'Pelle' had to go'

FIGC President Carlo Tavecchio backed Giampiero Ventura’s Italy “experiments” in Macedonia and confirms he had to drop Graziano Pellè.

The Nazionale are in Skopje for a World Cup qualifier that kicks off at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

“Tonight, regardless of what some people might think, this is an important and difficult match. When you absolutely need to win, it is always a problem,” Tavecchio told Sky Sport Italia.

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NEWS
Sunday October 9 2016
Italy midfield doubt in Macedonia

Italy released the squad numbers for tonight’s World Cup qualifier against Macedonia, but there’s confusion over Manolo Gabbiadini.

It kicks off in Skopje at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

The FIGC released a list of all the players who will be involved in this evening’s match, giving Marco Verratti the Number 10 jersey.

However, Napoli forward Gabbiadini is not included and there doesn’t seem to be any indication as to why.

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BLOG ITALIA
Sunday October 9 2016
Make way for Belotti

Italy are long overdue a generational shift and Andrea Belotti must be at the forefront, writes Susy Campanale.

If the 1-1 draw with Spain taught us anything, apart from the fact Gigi Buffon is human after all, it’s that Andrea Belotti belongs in the Italy starting XI. While Ciro Immobile has had his chances at the big time and stumbled, there can be no excuse for continuing to ignore Il Gallo.

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NEWS
Saturday October 8 2016
Angelovski: 'Italy the favourites'

Macedonia Coach Igor Angelovski warns Italy “are the absolute favourites, but we will try to give our best” in the World Cup qualifier.

It kicks off in Skopje on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

“Italy are the absolute favourites, but we will try to give our best,” said the Coach.

“We have one thing in common with Italy: Goran Pandev! I’m just kidding, we both play a 3-5-2 system.”

However, technically Macedonia use a 5-3-2 shape with a much more defensive approach.

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NEWS
Saturday October 8 2016
Immobile fired up for Macedonia

Ciro Immobile is prepared to face Macedonia “with the dagger between my teeth,” but forgives Italy teammate Graziano Pellè.

The World Cup qualifier kicks off in Skopje on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

“I am fairly satisfied with what we did against Spain. We needed a bit more sharpness in attack, because by the end we had run really hard. I am happy to have come on and helped contribute to the result,” Immobile told Rai Sport of the 1-1 draw.

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NEWS
Saturday October 8 2016
Buffon: 'Italy building new identity'

Gigi Buffon blasted Riccardo Montolivo boo boys and assured Italy are “building a new identity” with Giampiero Ventura ahead of the trip to Macedonia.

The World Cup qualifier kicks off in Skopje on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

It follows on from the 1-1 draw with Spain, which saw Montolivo tear his anterior cruciate ligament, ruling him out for six months.

“I want to start off by wishing Montolivo all the best and a speedy recovery,” said the captain in tonight’s Press conference.

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NEWS
Saturday October 8 2016
Ventura: 'That can't be Italy'

Giampiero Ventura admits he’d “change a few things” against Spain and will start Marco Verratti in Italy’s World Cup qualifier with Macedonia.

It kicks off in Skopje on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT) and follows on from Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Spain.

“If I was to go back in time to before that match, I’d certainly change a few things,” confessed the Coach in his Press conference.

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