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Strike Affects Italy's Preparations For Qualifiers

PTI 31 Aug 2011, 19:05:59 IST

Rome, Aug 31: Italy should feel relieved that it faces the unsung Faeroe Islands in European Championship qualifying Friday, since a Serie A strike means most of the Azzurri players don't have any matches in their legs.

If Italy wins in Torshavn, then beats Slovenia in Florence four days later, Cesare Prandelli's side will have qualified for next year's tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

Italy's only blemish in qualifying thus far was a 0-0 draw in Northern Ireland last October and the Azzurri hold a five-point lead—plus have a match in hand—over Slovenia in Group C.

The Faeroes are last in the group with four points from eight matches.

In other group matches Friday, it's Northern Ireland vs. Serbia and Slovenia vs. Estonia. AP