Italy vs. Argentina: Preview and TV schedule

Claudio Villa

Italy and Argentina meet for the first time in over a decade in a friendly on Wednesday.

Traditionally one of the biggest international rivalries, it has been 12 years since Italy and Argentina last met. That friendly saw Argentina win 2-1, and came less than a year after they'd knocked the Azzurri out of the 1990 World Cup on penalties. Italy haven't beaten the Albiceleste since the group stages of the 1982 World Cup, which they would go on to win. Wednesday sees the two nations go head-to-head once again, in a Rome friendly dedicated to Pope Francis.

For Italy, the most notable squad inclusion is that of Buenos Aires-born Pablo Osvaldo. The striker was omitted from Cesare Prandelli's Confederations Cup selection after criticizing then-Roma coach Aurelio Andreazzoli on Twitter, though has now been recalled. There are few surprises elsewhere, though U-21 stars Lorenzo Insigne, Marco Verratti and Alessandro Florenzi have all been included.

Among those named in Argentina's squad are Barcelona's Lionel Messi, as well as several players based in Italy domestically. Napoli's new striker Gonzalo Higuaín has been selected, along with his partenopei teammate Federico Fernández. Goalkeepers Sergio Romero and Mariano Andújar ply their trade at Sampdoria and Catania, while defender Hugo Campagnaro and his attacking teammates Ricky Álvarez and Rodrigo Palacio play for Inter Milan. Lucas Biglia and Erik Lamela of Lazio and Roma are also included.

Italy injuries and suspensions

Out: Andrea Barzagli In doubt: Mario Balotelli

Barzagli is definitely out with an Achilles tendon injury, while a knee problem means Balotelli is a slight doubt.

Argentina injuries and suspensions

Out: None In doubt: Lionel Messi

A muscular problem in Messi's left thigh saw him benched for Barça's match against the Malaysia XI on Saturday, meaning he's in doubt.

Match date/time: Wednesday, 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy

TV: RAI Internazionale (U.S. and Canada - Italian), Univision Deportes (U.S. - Spanish), Sportsnet 360 (Canada)

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