Qualifying round (Group C) - 03/09/2010 - 20:30CET (21:30 local time) - Lilleküla Stadium - Tallinn

Estonia - Italy 1-2 - 03/09/2010 - Match page - UEFA EURO 2012

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Prandelli gives newcomers chance in Estonia

Published: Tuesday 31 August 2010, 16.30CET
With Luca Cigarini replacing the injured Claudio Marchisio, there are now five uncapped players in the Italy squad for coach Cesare Prandelli's competitive debut in Estonia.
Prandelli gives newcomers chance in Estonia
Newcomer Luca Cigarini in action for Italy's Under-21 side ©Sportsfile
Published: Tuesday 31 August 2010, 16.30CET

Prandelli gives newcomers chance in Estonia

With Luca Cigarini replacing the injured Claudio Marchisio, there are now five uncapped players in the Italy squad for coach Cesare Prandelli's competitive debut in Estonia.

With over 15 years having passed since the sides' last meeting, Estonia can only hope that they are maturing with age as they prepare to come up against Italy for a fifth time in their opening UEFA EURO 2012 Group C qualifier.

Team news
• UD Leiria striker Vjatšeslav Zahovaiko is the only new face in the squad to that which defeated the Faroe Islands in Estonia's group opener on 11 August. Andres Oper – the Baltic nation's all-time leading scorer – misses out due to injury, although Middlesbrough FC's Tarmo Kink is fit again.

• "It's clear that we aren't favourites but that doesn't mean there will be no expectation on us," Tarmo Rüütli, whose squad also face Uzbekistan in a friendly on 7 September, told UEFA.com. "Surprises happen. Why not this time?"

Estonia squad
Goalkeepers: Sergei Pareiko (FC Tom Tomsk), Mihkel Aksalu (Sheffield United FC), Artur Kotenko (AEP Pahos FC)
Defenders: Enar Jääger (Aalesunds FK), Raio Piiroja (Fredrikstad FK), Alo Bärengrub (FK Bodø/Glimt), Tihhon Šišov (Xäzär Länkäran FK), Taavi Rähn (FC Baltika Kaliningrad), Dmitri Kruglov (İnter Bakı PİK), Gert Kams (FC Flora Tallinn), Igor Morozov (FC Levadia Tallinn), Andrei Sidorenkov (SønderjyskE)
Midfielders: Ragnar Klavan (AZ Alkmaar), Aleksandr Dmitrijev (Hønefoss BK), Joel Lindpere (New York Red Bulls), Sander Puri (Larissa FC), Konstantin Vassiljev (NK Nafta Lendava), Ats Purje (AEP Pahos FC), Martin Vunk (Syrianska FC)
Forwards: Andres Oper (no club), Sander Post (FC Flora Tallinn), Kaimar Saag (Silkeborg IF), Tarmo Kink (Middlesbrough FC), Sergei Zenjov (FC Karpaty Lviv), Vjatšeslav Zahovaiko (UD Leiria)

• Cesare Prandelli called up four uncapped defenders - Luca Antonelli, Cesare Bovo, Lorenzo De Silvestri and Daniele Gastaldello - and later brought in another new boy, midfielder Luca Cigarini, after Juventus' Claudio Marchisio withdrew with a right thigh injury. The Azzurri coach is also without Manchester City FC striker Mario Balotelli (knee), though Andrea Pirlo – who missed the 1-0 friendly loss to Ivory Coast on 10 August – is back in the fold after being passed fully fit following his pre-FIFA World Cup injury.

Italy squad
Goalkeepers: Antonio Mirante (Parma FC), Salvatore Sirigu (US Città di Palermo), Emiliano Viviano (Bologna FC)
Defenders: Luca Antonelli (Parma FC), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Cesare Bovo (US Città di Palermo), Mattia Cassani (US Città di Palermo), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Lorenzo De Silvestri (ACF Fiorentina), Daniele Gastaldello (UC Sampdoria), Cristian Molinaro (VfB Stuttgart)
Midfielders: Luca Cigarini (Sevilla FC), Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma), Andrea Lazzari (Cagliari Calcio), Riccardo Montolivo (ACF Fiorentina), Angelo Palombo (UC Sampdoria), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan)
Forwards: Antonio Cassano (UC Sampdoria), Alberto Gilardino (ACF Fiorentina), Giampaolo Pazzini (UC Sampdoria), Simone Pepe (Juventus), Fabio Quagliarella (Juventus), Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal CF)

Match background
• Estonia's record in four games against Italy reads W0 D0 L4 (W0 D0 L2 at home).

• The nations first met in a 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Trieste on 14 April 1993, when Roberto Baggio and Giuseppe Signori both registered in a 2-0 win for Italy. Baggio scored twice more in the return fixture in Tallinn – the first a penalty – either side of a Roberto Mancini strike as the visitors prevailed 3-0.

• As fate would have it, the two teams were pooled together again in EURO '96 qualifying. This time Christian Panucci and Pierluigi Casiraghi scored in a 2-0 win for Italy in Tallinn, before two efforts from Gianfranco Zola and one apiece for Demetrio Albertini and Fabrizio Ravanelli made it 4-1 in the second encounter.

• Martin Reim's strike in that game remains the only goal Estonia have managed in 360 minutes of football against Italy, during which they have conceded 11 times.

• Estonia's home record in 2010 World Cup qualifying was W2 D1 L2. Italy's away record in the same campaign read W3 D2 L0.

Last updated: 31/08/10 15.50CET