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Italy vs. Bulgaria Euro 2016 qualifying: Team news, TV schedule, and how to watch online

Andrea Pirlo has been rested as one of five Italy lineup changes from Thursday.

Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

One last Euro 2016 qualifier for this month, and then these players are haeding back to their clubs. After an uninspiring Italy performance against Malta on Thursday, Gli Azzurri boss Antonio Conte has rung the changes, replacing five of his starting players from that match -- including Andrea Pirlo.

We'd mentioned in our recap of the 1-0 win over Malta that Pirlo and Marco Verratti should really never play together because of the imbalance it brings to Italy's midfield. Apparently Conte feels the same, though while we assumed he'd leave Pirlo and bench Verratti, it's the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder who remains instead. Back in the side in Pirlo's place is Daniele De Rossi, with the Roma man looking to add some defensive spine to Italy's midfield.

Two of the substitutions from the Malta match have been carried over to face Bulgaria, with Marco Parolo and Antonio Candreva starting after helping break the deadlock a few days ago. Parolo was much more useful in that shuttling box-to-box midfield role than Andrea Bertolacci had been, and Candreva's creativity up the pitch created Italy's goal, so it's no surprise to see both starting.

For Napoli involvement, both Lorenzo Insigne and Manolo Gabbiadini, who sustained a minor calf injury on Thursday, are on the bench.


Italy: Buffon; Darmian, Bonucci, Chiellini, De Sciglio; De Rossi, Verratti, Parolo; Candreva, Pelle, El Shaaraway

Bulgaria: Mitrev; V. Minev, Aleksandrov, Bodurov, Y. Minev; Nedelev, Dyakov, Chochev, Milanov; Popov; Mitsanski

How to watch

TV: ESPN Deportes (U.S. - Spanish), RAI Uno (Italy), BNT 1 (Bulgaria) ITV4 (U.K.)

Online: ESPN3, Watch ESPN (U.S.)

Other live viewing options can be found here (links to illegal streams in the comments will be removed and repeat offenders banned), and as always, you can also follow along with us live on Twitter. If you haven't already, join the community on the Siren’s Song, and join in the discussion below!