Preview: Italy vs. France

Cesare Prandelli
© PA Photos
Sports Mole previews the international friendly between Italy and France in Parma on Wednesday.

Two former world and European champions will come face to face in a friendly international on Wednesday when Italy host France in Parma.

Both sides have made positive starts to their respective 2014 World Cup qualifying campaigns and will look to use this match to keep their momentum going.

Italy are unbeaten in Group B and with 10 points from four matches, Cesare Prandelli's side are four points clear at the top.

On the other hand, France are second behind Spain in Group I but only on goal difference, as both have collected seven points from three matches.

Prandelli omitted Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi from his squad for disciplinary reasons, and included Newcastle United full-back Davide Santon as well as youngster Alessandro Florenzi.

France coach Didier Deschamps had to call up Bordeaux defender Benoit Tremoulinas as a late replacement for Manchester City left-back Gael Clichy, who pulled out of the squad on Monday with a lower back problem.

Les Bleus were already without the injured duo Karim Benzema and Hatem Ben Arfa, while Arsenal right-back Bacary Sagna was overlooked by Deschamps.

Recent form

Italy: LDWWW

France: DWWLD

Possible starting lineups:

Italy: Buffon, Santon, Chiellini, Barzagli, Balzaretti, Marchisio, Montolivo, Giaccherini, Pirlo, Balotelli, El Shaarawy

France: Lloris, Debuchy, Evra, Sakho, Koscielny, Cabaye, Valbuena, Gonalons, Ribery, Menez, Giroud

Sports Mole says: 2-1

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