International Friendly Preview: Italy - France

Mohammed Ali
International Friendly Preview: Italy - France


Maggio, Barzagli, Chiellini, Peluso
Marchisio, Pirlo, Giaccherini
Balotelli, El Shaarawy

Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa, Sakho, Evra
Cabaye, Capoue, Matuidi

Menez, Giroud, Ribery

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has dropped midfielder Daniele De Rossi from his squad to face France, after the Roma player was sent off in the Derby della Capitale on Sunday for swinging at Stefano Mauri and subsequently falling foul of the manager's code of ethics.

Alessandro Florenzi is called up for the very first time, but the Azzurri coach has been dealt a setback with Domenico Criscito and Pablo Osvaldo withdrawing from the squad due to injury.

Stephan El Shaarawy could well start alongside Mario Balotelli, with Federico Peluso taking over at left back, with Emanuele Giaccherini expected to join his Juventus teammates and Riccardo Montolivo in midfield.

Didier Deschamps, meanwhile, is without Gael Clichy and Christophe Jallet after the fullbacks limped out with injury, with Bordeaux's Benoit Tremoulinas and Olympique Lyonnais' Anthony Reveillere handed a call up.

Yoann Gourcuff returns to the squad, but Etienne Capoue is expected to be preferred to Maxime Gonalons just behind Yohan Cabaye and Blaise Matuidi. Karim Benzema's withdrawal means Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud will be handed a start at Stadio Tardini on Wednesday.

Hugo Lloris' ongoing problems at Tottenham remains a selection headache for Deschamps to contend with, as his former Olympique de Marseille captain Steve Mandanda lies in wait for a start.

  • Italy has won five, drawn four and lost four of its 12 games in 2012 ahead of Wednesday's year-ending international against France in Parma.

  • The Azzurri won the last contest against their neighbor, prevailing 2-0 at Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland in the group stage.
  • Since then, Italy has won 13 of its 19 games against France at home.

  • Italy rose to fifth in the FIFA World Rankings, while France dropped below Ivory Coast, Switzerland and Ecuador to 18th place.
  • France has won seven, drawn three, and lost three of its 13 games in 2012.

  • Les Bleus' last win on Italian soil came in 1994, winning 1-0 in Naples in a friendly.
  • France's last encounter on the peninsula was in 2007, a 0-0 draw in European Championship qualifying. Only Mickael Landreau, Patrice Evra and Franck Ribery were selected in both match squads.