Pirlo keeps place in Italy team

Andrea Pirlo has kept his place in the team for Italy's World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria tonight.

There had been speculation in the Italian media today that he would be replaced by 26-year-old Udinese winger Simone Pepe following a lacklustre performance in training today.

Vincenzo Iaquinta and Alberto Girardino start up front as expected for the Azzurri.

Premier league stars Stiliyan Petrov and Martin Petrov start for a Bulgaria side that will be going all-out for a win.

Much will depend on the performance of Manchester United star Dimitar Berbatov, and the quality of supply to him.

Italy: Buffon, Zambrotta, Cannavaro, Chiellini, Grosso, Camoranesi, De Rossi, Marchisio, Pirlo, Gilardino, Iaquinta.

Subs: Marchetti, Legrottaglie, Santon, Pepe, Di Natale, Rossi, Quagliarella.

Bulgaria: Ivankov, Manolev, Iliyan Stoyanov, Angelov, Kishishev, Georgiev, Yankov, Stiliyan Petrov, Martin Petrov, Berbatov, Rangelov.

Subs: Petkov, Minev, Kotev, Bojinov, Domovchiyski, Milanov, Ivan Stoyanov.

Referee: Florian Meyer (Germany)

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