Friday, 12 October 2007

[Euro 2008 Qual] Italy v Georgia Preview

Roberto Donadoni is likely to field an attacking trident in the crucial Euro 2008 qualifier against Georgia and, while he will have a fully fit Giorgio Chiellini at his disposal, Vinceza Iaquinta looks unlikely to be fit.

The Azzurri take on Georgia at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris knowing that anything less than a win will see their chances of qualification for next years tournament fade.

The visitors in Genoa are expected to present a resolute defence, but it seems that Donadoni will turn to a three-man attack to break their resistance.

The prolific Luca Toni and Antonio Di Natale seem almost certain to start. They are likely to be joined by Fabio Quagliarella upfront because Juventus’ Iaquinta missed today’s training session due to a severe irritation to his throat and has been suffering from knee problems.

Meanwhile, in defence Chiellini has shaken off his thigh injury and will challenge Fabio Grosso for the left-back position, while Massimo Ambrosini and Daniele De Rossi battle for a spot in midfield.

The under pressure Donadoni is confident ahead of the clash in Genoa. "We know this is going to be a fundamental match for our qualification. We will face a young team and they will want to put in a good showing against us and then against Scotland," he claimed.

The coach is also well aware that the Azzurri cannot afford to drop any points on rivals Scotland and France. "We will have to be determined and focused on the game and we also need to be aggressive. I am telling the lads to be patient during these days and they will have to concentrate in order to avoid errors".

Italy eased past Georgia 3-1 in Tibilisi last October thanks to goals from De Rossi, Mauro Camoranesi and Simone Perrotta.

The Azzurri need the same again to put the pressure on Group B leaders Scotland, who face a tough match against Ukraine in Glasgow. Third-placed France have a less challenging appointment in the Faroe Islands.

Saturday 13 October
Scotland v Ukraine (1500, UK Time)
Faroe Islands v France (1600)
Italy v Georgia (1950)

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