Watch Northern Ireland vs Italy live

Watch Northern Ireland vs Italy live

Roma striker Marco Borriello will be at the forefront of the Italian team in attack today when they face Northern Ireland at Windsor Park in their tricky european championship qualifying tie. Italian manager Cesare Prandelli has stood firm on the striker leading the attack in the match today. The 28 year old has been opted for in place of players such as Giampaolo Pazzini and Giuseppe Rossi and will play alongside Antonio Cassano and Simone Pepe in a 4-3-3 formation that the Azzurri are used to playing in.

"He (Borriello) is the right striker for tomorrow's game," said coach Prandelli."He also gives us depth in manoeuvres." The Italians are leading the charge in group C with convincing wins over Estonia and the Faroe Islands and boss Prandelli values every point achieved on their road to qualification. "The games against Northern Ireland and Serbia are crucial to qualify for Euro 2012," he said."I expect a constant improvement from my team and something extra than with respect to our previous games. I demand more because the physical condition of the team is good and it's growing. I want the three points against Northern Ireland but I want that result to be accompanied by good play, as always."

Prandelli won't be resting on any laurels despite Italy's clear advantage over Northern Ireland in skill and technical ability and know the team have produced shocks over recent years embarassing the likes of Spain and England with battling displays. "They have taken important results at home," said Prandelli. "But we believe we can play better football than them even if it's in a difficult stadium."

Midfielder Stefano Mauri is believed to be in the first 11 and back after last featuring for the italians 3 years ago. He'll be joined by messers Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi and Bologna's Emiliano Viviano has been chosen to guard the net.

Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington believes David Healy will be back and fit and has the ability to end his lean spell of scoring by today against the Italians. Healy has struggled to find top flight match fitness and has had to battle it out with the Sunderland Reserves but Worthington has noticed a big improvement in the striker who hasn't scored in seven qualifying games, and he thinks he'll be ready to threaten the world's best defences again. Worthington said: "David has had a lean time, like all strikers do, but I am working with him and he can still finish. It is really about confidence and self-belief.I have seen a difference in David this week and in the past month compared to the last two years. He is sharp and bright and around goal he looks as though he is ready to sniff something out like he did in the past. So he has got my full backing."

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