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Maggio wary of ´difficult´ Armenia

11 October 2012 01:06

Christian Maggio says that Italy will prepare thoroughly for their World Cup 2014 qualifying clash against Armenia on Friday night.

Ranked 64th in the FIFA rankings, Armenia won their opening match away at Malta, before falling to a narrow 1-0 defeat away at Bulgaria.

Italy lead Group B having taken four points from their first two matches and will be keen to ensure complacency does not creep in as they look to continue their positive start.

Speaking at the Azzurri's Coverciano training base, Maggio said: "There is a good chance that I'll play and the whole team is ready to take part in a fierce and difficult encounter.

"We still don't know too much about Armenia, but we will as there is still plenty of time before the match.

"A few days ago I spoke to my Napoli team-mate Marek Hamsik who faced them last year. He told me that they don't have great individual qualities, but they are a side who work very hard.

"We'll prepare properly for the game on Thursday."

Antonio Cassano was again left out of Cesare Prandelli's side, but there was a recall for Zenit St Petersburg left-back Dominico Criscito, who was excluded from his nation's Euro 2012 squad after allegations of match-fixing.

Juventus star Giorgio Chiellini is the man expected to be sacrificed with Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci widely tipped to start in central defence.

Chiellini, who played a major part in Italy's run to the Euro 2012 final, said he would respect any decision Prandelli makes.

"No, I'm not irritated, we are 26 players, we are all excellent players and only 11 can play," he said.

"Everyone would like to play, it's normal and great that it's like that, but then only 11 will enter the pitch and it's up to the manager to make these choices."

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