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Buffon seeks smooth passage

Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon has underlined the importance of a win against Czech Republic as his side try and qualify quickly for Brazil 2014.

While Italy will remain top of Group B in UEFA’s World Cup qualifying even if they lose on Friday, Buffon will accept nothing less than a win in Prague as he wants to avoid ‘any drama’ on the road to next year’s tournament in Brazil.

Italy have 13 points from their first five games in Group B, three ahead of Bulgaria, while Czech Republic are third on eight, and Buffon wants his team to extend their leading margin in their World Cup qualifier versus the Czechs.

“We want to keep on pushing towards an early qualification for Brazil 2014, we don’t want to have any drama,” Buffon said.

“We haven’t had any surprises so far, mostly because we have played really well.

“We’d love nothing more than to continue our current form.”

Italy have only defeated Czech Republic once in their past four meetings and while Michal Bilek’s side have managed just two wins in five games in Group B, Buffon remains wary.

“Czech Republic is one of those teams that you always struggle to beat,” Buffon said.

“They give you no quarter, they rarely make mistakes.

“Should your performance be less than optimal, most of the times you lose the game.

“A normal performance perhaps lets you go home with a point.

“That’s not what we are thinking about, we want to have a great game, win and increase our advantage from the rest of the group.”

Wed 5 June, 2013
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