(Sporting Alert) — The following are the starting are the starting lineups for the Confederations Cup semi-final clash between Spain and Italy at Estadio Castelao.
FIFA CONFEDERATIONS CUP
Venue & date: Estadio Castelao, Fortaleza; Thursday, 27 June
TV Coverage: Live on BBC One
After sitting out the last two group matches, first choice keeper and captain Iker Casillas returns between the sticks for Spain, who made three changes from the team that last featured.
Chelsea striker Fernando Torres, who has been in good goalscoring form in the tournament so far, also gets a start in the forward line, replacing Roberto Soldado with David Silva also starting and Cesc Fabregas on the bench as well.
Italy, in the meantime, made six changes from the side that was beaten by Brazil in the final group game.
Amongst those returning to the lineup are Andrea Pirlo, who was injured and Daniele De Rossi, who missed the last game because of suspension.
Star forward Mario Balotelli misses the semifinal due to a strained thigh.
Alberto Gilardino replaces Balotelli in the starting lineup.
Christian Maggio, Andrea Barzagli and Emanuele Giaccherini also comes into the starting team.
Spain are being backed at 89-percent by the pundits and bookies to take the victory and join Brazil in the final.
Spain v Italy
Spain: Casillas, Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Pique, Jordi Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Pedro, Torres, Silva
Subs: Valdes, Albiol, Javi Martinez, Azpilicueta, Villa, Fabregas, Mata, Soldado, Monreal, Cazorla, Jesus Navas, Reina
Italy: Buffon, Maggio, Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini, Candreva, De Rossi, Pirlo, Marchisio, Giaccherini, Gilardino
Subs: Sirigu, Astori, De Sciglio, Aquilani, Giovinco, El Shaarawy, Cerci, Montolivo, Diamanti, Marchetti
Referee: Howard Webb (England)