Having both beaten Russia and Serbia in the European Zone Qualifiers, Italy and Lebanon are set to do battle in Belgrade on Saturday for the right to take the 14th place in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
The winners will join Scotland and Tonga in Group C of the main draw and both nations are expected to show few changes and are trying to play down the importance of the contest.
Italy, who start as favourites, have spent the last fortnight in the Serbian capital and coach Carlo Napolitano commented, “It has been a good week of preparation in the Serbian football academy. We had a few players who were carrying knocks but their injuries have ironed themselves out. The group is in really good spirits and everybody is looking forward to Saturday.”
His opposite number, Cedars’ supremo David Baysarri noted, “Since coming to Serbia from Moscow, the team has responded really well in training. The last two weeks have been a build up to this weekend's game against Italy."
He was backed up by Lebanon vice captain, hooker Jamie Clark who added, "After settling into camp in Serbia this week the boys have refocused to the task ahead of qualifying for the 2013 World Cup, the team has put themselves in the best possible position to deliver."
Alex Ranieri (North Sydney Bears) , Anthony Minichiello (c) (Sydney Roosters), Ben Falcone (Wentworth), Ben Stewart (Windsor Wolves), Cameron Ciraldo (Newcastle Knights), Christophe Calegari (Lezignan), Dean Vicelich (XIII del Ducato), Dom Nasso (Monto), Fabrizzio Ciaurro (XIII del Ducato), Joel Riethmuller (North Queensland Cowboys), Jonathon Marcinzack (West Bowling), Josh Mantellano (Wyong), Matt Parrata (Mt Isa), Matthew Sands (Grifons PD), Ray Nasso (Wentworth), Rhys Lennarduzzi (Wests), Rob Quitadamo (XIII del Ducato), Ryan Ghetti (Northern Pride), Ryan Tramonte (St Patricks Blacktown), Vic Mauro (Manly Sea Eagles)
Lebanon Cedars: Allen Soultan, (Balamand); Nick Kassis (Cabramatta); Steve Azzi (Canterbury Bulldogs); Ibrahim Ballout, Robin Hachache, Walid Yassine (LAU Immortals RLFC); Ray Moujalli (Manly Sea Eagles); Adham El Zabedieh, Adnan El Zabedieh (Mounties); Charlie Farah (Narrabeen); Jamie Clark, Khaled Deeb, Ahmed Ellaz (Newtown Jets); Danny Barakat, Nadim Couri, Chris Saab, Adnan Saleh (St John’s Eagles); James Boustani, Clifton Nye (Wentworthville), Nemer Saliba (Wolves)