Johannesburg: Defending champions Italy have had a poor start with two drawn games and will take on Slovakia in their Group F clash at Johannesburg.
Italy need to beat Slovakia, who are bottom of Group F, to be sure of getting into the knockout stage, but even a draw would do as long as group leaders Paraguay beat New Zealand.
The side as reported by many experts looks a little aged, with captain Fabio Canavarro looking vulnerable in the defensive line.
Meanwhile Marcello Lippi's side will be without injured Andrea Pirlo, who was tipped to make a return. But he will be available on bench. The team also lacked fire-power in the middle and don't seem to have someone who can sufficiently feed the ball to the strikers to get the goals for them.
"Pirlo can't start but he will be on the bench," said the 2006 World Cup winning coach, as according to fifa.com reports.
On the other side, Slovakia have struggled after their terrific run in the qualifying phases. With a loss in their match against Paraguay and a draw game against All White, they technically still stand a chance to finish on top and make it to the knockout phase.
The group is open as any team in the group can finish on top.
Players to watch out for
Slovakia: Robert Vittek, Jan Kozak, Vladimir Weiss
Italy: Alberto Gilardino, Daniele De Rossi, Andrea Pirlo(doubtful)