Team News: Mario Balotelli starts, Fernando Torres misses out

Fernando Torres
© PA Photos
Spain fail to name a recognised striker in their starting XI against Italy while Mario Balotelli starts for the Azzurri.

Spain have opted to play six midfielders and no recognised strikers in their Euro 2012 opener against Italy today.

The decision means that there is no place for Chelsea's Fernando Torres or Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente in the defending champions' starting lineup.

Instead, coach Vincente Del Bosque has chosen to play a midfield of Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso, David Silva, Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta, with the latter three expected to provide Spain's main attacking threat.

Italy, meanwhile, will start with Manchester City's Mario Balotelli up front alongside Antonio Cassano.

Spain: Casillas, Arbeloa, Pique, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Alonso, Silva, Fabregas, Iniesta.
Subs: Valdes, Albiol, Javi Martinez, Juanfran, Pedro, Torres, Negredo, Mata, Llorente, Santi Cazorla, Jesus Navas, Reina.

Italy: Buffon, Chiellini, De Rossi, Bonucci, Giaccherni, Marchisio, Pirlo, Thiago Motta, Maggio, Cassano, Balotelli.
Subs: Sirigu, Ogbonna Obienza, Balzaretti, Abate, Di Natale, Barzagli, Borini, Montolivo, Giovinco, Diamanti, Nocerino, De Sanctis.

Gerard Pique
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1Chelsea21171345153052
2Tottenham HotspurSpurs21136243142945
3Liverpool21136249242545
4Arsenal21135348222644
5Manchester CityMan City21133541261542
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd21117332201240
7Everton219663223933
8West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom218582828029
9Stoke CityStoke217682733-627
10Burnley2182112331-826
11Bournemouth2174103037-725
12West Ham UnitedWest Ham2174102635-925
13Southampton216691926-724
14Watford2165102336-1323
15Leicester CityLeicester2156102434-1021
16Middlesbrough214891722-520
17Crystal Palace2144133040-1016
18Hull City2144132045-2516
19Sunderland2143142040-2015
20Swansea CitySwansea2143142349-2615