The teams are in, and Slovakia looks intent on getting goals with a front four aimed right at causing trouble for Fabio Cannavaro (this is surely a tournament too far for him) and Giorgio Chiellini. For his part, Marcello Lippi has dumped Albert Gilardino and Claudio Marchisio in favor of Antonio Di Natale and Gennaro Gattuso. Let's hope for the end to end soccer of yesterday's US match, without the nerves.
Slovakia: Jan Mucha, Peter Pekarik, Martin Skrtel, Jan Durica, Radoslav Zabavnik, Marek Hamsik, Zdenko Strba, Juraj Kucka, Miroslav Stoch, Robert Vittek, Erik Jendrisek.
Italy: Federico Marchetti, Gianluca Zambrotta, Fabio Cannavaro, Giorgio Chiellini, Domenico Criscito, Gennaro Gattuso, Daniele de Rossi, Riccardo Montolivo, Simone Pepe, Vincenzo Iaquinta, Antonio di Natale.
"Today is my birthday," announces Jason Parker. "I know I received an early present from the US team yesterday, but if I could be greedy I would ask that Italy get eliminated. It would be the greatest birthday since my Star Wars themed 8th birthday. I hate the diving, the crying, and the negative soccer. The sooner they go home the better. And if their elimination could come at the hands of the Slovaks (I'm half Slovak), I would be in heaven." Steady on there, Jason. Happy birthday and all that, but I make no guarantees regarding heaven.
Anthems: funereal effort from Slovakia - let's hope that's not a bad sign for the next 90 minutes. Italy's has that bit more pep, as usual, with a shouted last line that would do karaoke bars the world over proud.
Kick-off: "Despite what they've done so far, I like Italy to win comfortably," says Mark Schmidt. Iaquinta and Di Natale roll the ball to er, get the ball rolling.