Egypt vs Italy preview- Confederations Cup

Game : Italy vs Egypt

Match : Confederations Cup Group B

Venue : Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg

Date : 18 June 2009, 20.30 South African time.

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Italy and Egypt will meet for the first time in fifty five years in international football when they clash in a Confederations Cup Group B match in Johannesburg on Thursday night.

Egypt, who came into the Cup after losing 3-1 to Algeria, gave mighty Brazil a scare in their opening game. The Egyptians fought their way back into the game after trailing 3-1 at half time, only to see their dreams destroyed by Kaka’s stoppage time winner. Ahmed Al Muhamadi, the man who conceded that penalty, is suspended for this game.

Much will depend on the trio of Mohamed Aboutrika, Mohamed Zidan and Mohamed Shawky. They played some excellent football against Brazil, and if Egypt coach Hasan Shehata can improve his side’s defending, then the Pharaohs could easily cause an upset.

Egypt form- last five games- all competitions- Egyptian scorers in brackets

Brazil 4-3 Egypt ( Mohamed Zidan*2, Mohamed Shawky)
Algeria 3-1 Egypt ( Mohamed Aboutrika)
Oman 0-1 Egypt (Mohamed Aboutrika)
Egypt 1-1 Zambia ( Amr Zaki)
Egypt 2-2 Ghana ( Mohamed Aboutrika, Emad Moteab)

Italy were rescued by Giuseppe Rossi against the USA, and the former Manchester United striker is pushing for a starting role. The world champions trailed 1-0 at the break, but Rossi’s introduction saw the momentum turn in Italy’s favour, and they eventually won 3-1.

Captain Fabio Cannavaro is set to return to the squad, with Nicola Legrottaglie expected to make way for him. The axe could also fall on Giorgio Chiellini, who had a poor game against USA, and could consider himself fortunate to have escaped after fouling Jozy Altidore.

Italy form- last five games- all competitons- scorers in brackets

USA 1-3 ( Giuseppe Rossi*2, Daniele De Rossi)
Italy 4-3 New Zealand ( Alberto Gilardino*2, Vicenzo Iaquinta*2)
Italy 3-0 Northern Ireland ( Giuseppe Rossi, Sergio Pellissier, Pasquale Foggia)
Italy 1-1 Ireland ( Vicenzo Iaquinta)
Montenegro 0-2 Italy ( Andrea Pirlo, Giampaolo Pazzini)

Verdict:- Egypt’s tournament could be over if they lose this one. The game to end in a 2-2 draw, with Iaquinta, Rossi, Zidan and Aboutrika scoring.

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