Will the Azzuri Sink Slovenia?

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This evening Italy travel to the Slovenian capital, Ljubliana for what is sure to be a closely fought battle between two fierce rivals.

The Azzuri are sitting pretty at the top of Group C and look well placed to qualify for Euro 2012, but Slovenia are breathing down their necks and sit just three points behind Cesare Prandelli’s men. Whilst the Slovenians will start the match as underdogs, the result is far from certain and Italy keeper Gianluigi Buffon has warned his team-mates they are in for a tough night.

‘’you can never be the favourite when you play away against emerging teams who are beginning to have high-level elements.’’

Wise words from the Juve stopper.

Throw in the fact seven Slovenian players currently ply their trade in Serie A and you begin to understand the quality hidden in their squad. You can also bet this young football nation will be well acquainted with the patient, possession focused game favoured by the Italians.

At PUMA Football HQ we’ve been rifling through the record books and to be honest we were surprised by what we found! History is anything but stacked against the hosts. Slovenia is yet to lose at home to the Italians and they have beaten their more illustrious neighbours twice from their last five meetings. If previous games are anything to go by tonight’s encounter will be a tight one as the last five matches have been decided by a single goal.

The Italians will be without De Rossi and Balotelli due to disciplinary reasons, but with world class players like Buffon, Chiellini and Del Piero in the side, you’ve got to fancy the Italians to return home with their unbeaten record still intact and another three points on the board.

You can tell us who you think will come out on top using the PUMA Life Scoreboard.

Life's more fun when you're keeping score!