The Italians come into the game after topping Group E with 7 points. De Rossi is serving
the second match of a four-match ban after his sending off against the USA, while
Nesta will sit out the Kaiserslautern clash with a thigh strain.
Nesta has been struggling with the injury for the past couple of months and was
substituted early in Italy’s 2-0 victory over the Czech Republic.
His replacement in that game, Marco Materazzi, is likely to take his place.
The Australians come into the game on the back of taking runners up spot behind
Brazil. They will be without suspended full-back Brett Emerton, while Zeljko Kalac, who
plays his football for AC Milan, will be replaced by Mark Schwarzer.
The Middlesbrough keeper was left out of the 2-2 draw with Croatia, but after Kalac’s
poor display against the Croatians Schwarzer will return.
Scott Chipperfield will make his 50th appearance for the Socceroos, if he figures against
The Australians should by no means be underestimated for this tie. They seem to
possess a never say die attitude which displayed itself against Croatia, in a game where
Harry Kewell levelled things late on to put them through.
Italy, however, are a different class, they haven’t really impressed as such throughout the
tournament, and are prone to indiscipline. They did raise their game against the Czech’s