Italy looks to impress against Northern Ireland

By Daniella Matar

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Oct. 9 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

Italy's goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon reacts during their Euro 2012 group C qualifying soccer match against Serbia, in Belgrade, Serbia, Friday, Oct. 7, 2011.

Darko Vojinovic, Associated Press

MILAN — Italy heads into Tuesday's match against Northern Ireland in Pescara looking to sign off its European qualification campaign on a high.

Cesare Prandelli's team has been impressive throughout the qualifiers and has already won Group C. Another solid performance on Friday saw Italy hold Serbia to a 1-1 draw.

However, Prandelli says "there's too many compliments, too much enthusiasm ... criticism would be better now."

Claudio Marchisio injured his ankle against Serbia, but the Juventus midfielder is expected to recover in time for the match.

Argentine-born forward Pablo Osvaldo could make his debut after being called up on Wednesday after injuries forced Mario Balotelli and Giampaolo Pazzini to withdraw from the squad.

Northern Ireland lost to Estonia 2-1 on Friday and can't qualify.

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