Oct 11, 2013 at 7.15pm UK
Bendtner (45', 79')
Bjelland (64'), Zimling (72'), Bendtner (79'), Boilesen (90')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Osvaldo (28'), Aquilani (90')

Preview: Denmark vs. Italy

Italy's Mario Balotelli celebrates after scoring his team's second goal against Czech Republic during their World Cup qualifier on September 10, 2013
Sports Mole previews Friday's Group B World Cup qualifier between Denmark and Italy.

Denmark welcome Italy on Friday knowing that three points would maintain their slim hopes of securing qualification for the 2014 World Cup.

The home side currently sit third in Group B on 12 points, one point behind second-placed Bulgaria with two matches remaining. They have won three, drawn three and lost two of their eight matches thus far, but they head into the fixtures on the back of successive wins over Malta and Armenia.

Italy, meanwhile, have already secured their spot in Brazil having won six of their eight Group B matches, remaining unbeaten in the process and amassing 20 points.

The Azzurri also enter the contest on the back of two successive wins over Czech Republic and Bulgaria and will take confidence from the last time they faced Denmark – a 3-1 win in the corresponding match in October 2012.

Denmark will once again be led by Liverpool defender Daniel Agger, while Tottenham Hotspur's Christian Eriksen and Arsenal's Nicklas Bendtner are also familiar names in their squad.

Highly-rated Ajax attacker Viktor Fischer is also expected to start against the Italians, while 22-year-old Thomas Delaney could win his first cap for his country.

In-form Fiorentina striker Giuseppe Rossi has returned to the Italy squad after a two-year absence, while Roma defender Federico Balzaretti has also been included for the first time since November 2012.

Mario Balotelli, Alessio Cerci, Lorenzo Insigne and Pablo Osvaldo have also been selected, while Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon will pass Fabio Cannavaro's all-time appearance record for Italy should he earn his 137th cap.

Recent form

Denmark: WLLWW

Italy: DDLWW

Possible starting lineups

Denmark: Andersen; Jacobsen, Agger, Kjaer, Boilesen; Kvist, Eriksen, Andreasen, Delaney; Bendtner, Fischer

Italy: Buffon; Chiellini, Bonucci, Balzaretti; Abate, De Rossi, Montolivo, Pirlo, Candreva; Balotelli, Rossi

Sports Mole says: 1-1

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon reacts during the seria A football match Sampdoria against Juventus, on August 24, 2013
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