Holding FIFA World Champions, Italy, open their 2010 FIFA World Cup campaign with their Group F match against Paraguay this evening at Green Point Stadium, Cape Town.
The match will kick off at 20:30pm local time (19:30 BST or 20:30 CET).
Italy Starting XI
Buffon, Zambrotta, Cannavaro, Chiellini, Criscito, De Rossi, Marchisio, Montolivo, Pepe, Gilardino, Iaquinta
Paraguay Starting XI
Villar, Bonet, Alcaraz, Da Silva, Morel Rodriguez, Vera, Victor Caceres, Riveros, Torres, Haedo Valdez, Barrios
Italy v Paraguay Match Preview
World Cup holders Italy may have lost a few big names since they won this competition last time around, but they still have a squad of players who know each others’ game well, and can play well together in a well-drilled and well organised manner.
As Germany demonstrated last night, this counts for a great deal.
Italy will have far too much for Paraguay, but they don’t usually pile on goals, so this will in all probability be a comfortable victory, with Italy retaining masses of possession, and a goal in each half. Prediction: 2-0 Italy, and three straightforward Group F points for the Azzurri.
Paraguay have a reasonable squad, but it features few flair players. If they are to get anything from this match, they must defend manfully, without mistakes, or giving away fouls in key areas of the pitch, and they must also take any chances that might come their way.