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Georgia against Italy
National Team
Written by Tornike   
Tuesday, 10 October 2006 18:37

{mosimage}{mosimage}"It is not going to be an easy game for us, it will be a difficult atmosphere and our opponent's will be really fired up and motivated." said the Italy coach Roberto Donadoni.

"France's defeat actually shows that this is a difficult group for everyone. We have to get as many points as we can everywhere we go." he added.{mosimage}

Italy's 2-0 victory over Ukraine on Saturday gave Donadoni his first win since he took over from Marcello Lippi following July's World Cup final triumph.The win, combined with France's loss to Scotland, gave the Azzurri's qualification campaign a needed boost after their 1-1 draw with Lithuania and 3-1 defeat to France in Paris last month but Donadoni sees plenty of obstacles still in the way.

"Georgia are similar to Ukraine in terms of style and we must not lose our concentration. I'm sure they will try and unsettle us right from the start. But I have a good feeling about this match."

"Not winning was weighing on us, so the Ukraine win was very important," Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro said. "But if we don't win in Georgia, everything we've rebuilt will be useless."

Donadoni will make at least once change for the game in Georgia - midfielder Gennaro Gattuso is suspended and so Simone Perrotta will likely return to the starting line-up in a three-man midfield alongside Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi.

If Donadoni opts for a fourth midfielder then Juventus winger Mauro Camoranesi could come in for striker Vincenzo Iaquinta while Udinese's Antonio Di Natale is competing for a place in attack alongside Luca Toni.

{mosimage}Georgia's German manager Klaus Toppmoller is also missing several key players out through injury and suspension.Top striker Shota Arveladze, who notched a hat-trick in a 6-0 thrashing of the Faroe Islands in Georgia's Euro 2008 opener two months ago, defender Malkhaz Asatiani and goalkeeper Nukri Revishvili have all been ruled out with various injuries while influential midfielder Levan Tskitishvili is doubtful after suffering a concussion in Saturday's 2-0 friendly defeat to Germany.


Shalke 04 midfielder Levan Kobiashvili, Spartak Nalchik midfielder Gogita Gogua and striker Georgi Demetradze are all suspended for Wednesday's match. Toppmoellar called up uncapped goalkeeper Zurab Kvachakhiria from local side Ameri Tbilisi, who might face the world champions in the absence of injured Revishvili.


"We have so many injuries for this match but you don't play world champions every day," said Toppmoller."I think all our problems might just inspire my team to give the extra effort."


Italy though, will be expecting to maintain their unbeaten record against Georgia, having won three and drawn one match against them in four matches - all World Cup qualifiers, since they first met in Perugia 10 years ago.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 February 2007 09:42