SALVADOR, Brazil (Sporting Alert) — Stephan El Shaarawy has been handed the starting place by Italy head coach Cesare Prandelli to tonight’s Confederations Cup third-place battle against Uruguay at Arena Fonte Nova.
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Italy are without Mario Balotelli, who left the tournament with a thigh injury before the semi-final defeat to Spain and Alberto Gilardino, who started the semis, but picked up a knock during that same.
In fact, Prandelli made several changes to his Italy side that was beaten on penalties by Spain, with Riccardo Montolivo, Davide Astori, Mattia De Sciglio and Alessandro Diamanti all coming into the starting lineup.
Out goes midfield veteran Andrea Pirlo, along with Claudio Marchisio, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli amongst those making way.
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez, in the meantime, makes just the one change to his side, with Walter Gargano replacing Alvaro Gonzalez.
Veteran defender Andres Scotti is available again after a one-match ban, but he starts on the bench.
Strikers Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan all start up front.
Uruguay v Italy
Uruguay: Muslera, Caceres, Lugano, Maxi Pereira, Godin, Gargano, Rodriguez, Arevalo Rios, Forlan, Suarez, Cavani
Subs: Castillo, Coates, Pereira, Eguren, Hernandez, Aguirregaray, Lodeiro, Perez, Ramirez, Scotti, Gonzalez, Silva
Italy: Buffon, Maggio, Chiellini, Astori, De Sciglio, Candreva, De Rossi, Montolivo, Diamanti, Gilardino, El Shaarawy
Subs: Sirigu, Aquilani, Marchisio, Giovinco, Barzagli, Cerci, Bonucci, Pirlo, Giaccherini, Marchetti
Referee: Djamel Haimoudi (Algeria)