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Football: Immobile in with Balotelli for Italy decider


Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has reshuffled his starting line-up for the make-or-break final Group D clash against Uruguay, with Ciro Immobile given his first World Cup start alongside fellow striker Mario Balotelli.

Prandelli pledged the four-time champions would go out looking for a win and deployed a loose 3-5-2 formation that will allow the Azzurri to defend in numbers and give them options in attack.

Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini will play either side of Leonardo Bonucci in an all-Juventus back three, with wingbacks Mattia De Sciglio and Matteo Darmian expected to play key roles in defence and attack.

Andrea Pirlo will marshall the central midfield alongside Marco Verratti and Claudio Marchisio, with Balotelli and Immobile, playing for the first time together in a competitive game, completing the line-up.

Uruguay, fourth place finishers in South Africa four years ago, need a win to go through to the last 16.

Coach Oscar Tabarez will field an unchanged side from the one that beat England 2-1 last week, with Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani leading their attack in the Celeste's usual 4-4-2 formation.



Gianluigi Buffon (capt); Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini; Matteo Darmian, Marco Verratti, Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Mattia De Sciglio; Ciro Immobile, Mario Balotelli

Coach: Cesare Prandelli (ITA)


Fernando Muslera; Martin Caceres, Jose Maria Gimenez, Diego Godin (capt), Alvaro Pereira; Alvaro Gonzalez, Egidio Arevalo, Nicolas Lodeiro, Cristian Rodriguez; Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez

Coach: Oscar Tabarez (URU)

Referee: Marco Rodriguez (MEX)