(Sporting Alert) — Mario Balotelli has been in good goal scoring form recently the Italy forward is expected to find the net again against Malta in tonight’s World Cup qualifier at Ta’Qali National Stadium.
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Italy are coming off an impressive performance last week where they came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Brazil and will start hot favourites to get past Malta tonight.
AC Milan forwad Stephan El Shaarawy has been handed a starting place, and he will play alongside his teammate Balotelli.
Riccardo Montolivo, Emanuele Giaccherini and Andrea Pirlo start in midfield and are expected to provide the support to El Shaarawy and Balotelli.
Mattia De Sciglio, Ignazio Abate, Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci make up a strong back four for Italy.
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Malta v Italy
Malta: Haber, Caruana, Alex Muscat, Dimech, Herrera, Camilleri, Sciberras, Failla, Briffa, Mifsud, Schembri
Subs: Hogg, Andrei Agius, Cohen, Ryan Fenech, Paul Fenech, Terence Vella, Rowen Muscat, Jacob Borg
Italy: Buffon, De Sciglio, Abate, Barzagli, Bonucci, Marchisio, El Shaarawy, Montolivo, Pirlo, Giaccherini, Balotelli
Subs: De Sanctis, Maggio, Antonelli, Florenzi, Poli, Giovinco, Gilardino, Cerci, Ranocchia, Candreva, Diamanti, Sirigu
Referee: Serdar Gozubuyuk (Netherlands)