x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Misfiring Italy remain confident

Giuseppe Rossi believes Italy will rediscover their goalscoring touch in their World Cup qualifier in Georgia.

Giuseppe Rossi is confident Italy will rediscover their goalscoring touch in tonight's World Cup qualifier in Georgia. Marcello Lippi's men travel to Tbilisi having failed to score since Rossi struck twice in their 3-1 win over the United States on June 15. A 1-0 loss to Egypt, a 3-0 defeat to Brazil in the Confederations Cup and a goalless result in last month's friendly against Switzerland have followed. The Villarreal striker Rossi, who will lead the Azzurri's attack alongside Vincenzo Iaquinta, is confident his team will end the drought.

"We have not scored but these things happen," he said. "We are not worried about it. We have so much forward talent that we can score at any time." Italy are top of Group Eight with 14 points from six games. The Azzurri are one point clear of the Republic of Ireland and have a game in hand. Spain can take another significant step towards qualifying for next year's finals today when they host a Belgium side whose own chances of reaching South Africa are looking slim.

Having won all six of their matches in Group Five so far, the European champions are six points clear of second-placed Bosnia-Herzegovina with four qualifiers remaining. That means that although Vicente del Bosque's side cannot decide their own destiny in La Coruna this weekend, they could guarantee themselves top spot in Wednesday's game against Estonia - depending on how Bosnia-Herzegovina do in their games against Armenia and Turkey.

France begin a crucial week in their bid to qualify for the World Cup when they face Romania. Raymond Domenech's side will play group leaders Serbia in Belgrade on Wednesday, and back-to-back victories in the two games would see them leapfrog their way to first place. Fabio Capello, speaking ahead of today's friendly against Slovenia, has said he will stay as England coach until 2012.

* With agencies