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Italy face a stern test in their third and final group game against Slovakia in Johannseburg. Nothing but three points will do for Marcello Lippi’s men in their quest to reach the last 16 in their defence of their world title.
A disappointing two points from a possible six leave the Azzurri dangerously close to elimination from the competition at the first hurdle. They remain without number one goalkeeper Buffon for the encounter with Slovakia, however there is an encouraging possibility that Andrea Pirlo could play some part. Goalscorer Iaquinta is expected …

World Champions Italy struggled to a 1-1 draw against minnow opposition New Zealand in Nelspruit on Sunday, leaving their chances of reaching the last 16 hanging in the balance.
Once again the Azzurri were slow out of the traps and after just six minutes, New Zealand were in front. A free-kick was swung into the box and found its way to Smeltz at the far post, who duely converted the ball past the stand-in keeper Federico Marchetti; the goal standing despite the striker seemingly being a yard offside.

This however proved to be a wake up …

Reigning champions Italy look to put their recent poor form behind them when they take on The ‘All Whites’ of New Zealand in Nelspruit tomorrow.
Lippi’s men are without arguably their greatest asset in goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, but hope he will still play a part in the rest of their campaign after stating his will to delay surgery on his back untill after the tournament. Elsewhere on the injury bench – Andrea Pirlo, still missing with a calf injury.
Group F is wide open, with things as they were, all square with each nation …

A goalkeeping howler spared Italy’s blushes in their opening group stage game against Paraguay, ensuring they claimed a fortunate point on a rainy night in Cape Town.
Spirits were running low in the Italian camp after a number of sluggish displays in freindlies leading up to the game. But the attitude of ‘it’ll be alright on the night’ soon went out of the window, as Italy were on the back foot for the majority of the first half. A casual and cagey first half was brought to life though, as Wigan defender Antolín …

There has been a lot of talk in recent months over whether Italy are capable of defending the World Cup title which they won in 2006. If tonight is anything to go by, it’s going to be quite a struggle.
Italy struggled to a share of the points against Paraguay in a game low on creativity and invention, with both goals coming from set-pieces which owed more to defensive mistakes than attacking quality.
The only player who showed any flashes of brilliance for the Italians was winger Simone Pepe, who did his …

It’s been a turbulent few months for the Italian national team, on and off the field. A poor string of results, numerous injuries to key players and rumours of disarray within the dressing room haven’t given the supporters much to shout about; but come 7.30pm on Monday, all will be forgotten as the four-time champions begin their title defence against Paraguay in Cape Town.
Lets face it, It’s hardly been the ideal preparation for a side with everything to prove on the world stage. Recent friendly match results – including the match against Switzerland, have only served …

Italy manager Marcello Lippi has announced who is to be left at home as his squad prepare to travel to South Africa to begin the defence of their world title. With two players already deducted from the squad prior to June 1st, Lippi’s job was made a tad easier, with only five players facing the dreaded phone call.

 The five unlucky players who will miss out on the journey to Cape Town are: Salvatore Sirigu, Mattia Cassani, Andrea Cossu, Marco Borriello and Giuseppe Rossi, in addition to Fabio Grosso and Luca Toni. Surprisingly, …

World Cup holders Italy were held to a draw by Switzerland in their final warm-up match in Geneva, before heading to South Africa. Manager Marcello Lippi and his side were looking for an improved performance following their lackluster 2-1 defeat to Mexico two days earlier, but this failed to happen and left The Azzurri without a win from both of their warm up games against teams competing in the world cup.
Udinese’s Gokhan Inler put Switzerland ahead in the 10th minute with a long range piledriver, but Fabio Quagliarella, a late addition …

The pressure on Italy Manager Marcello Lippi continues to rise after his side were beaten 2-1 by Mexico in Brussels last night. The world cup holders fielded a strong team despite Giorgio Chiellini and Mauro Camoranesi missing the game through injury. Vincenzo Iaquinta, Antonio Di Natale and Alberto Gilardino all featured up-front.
Arsenal fringe player Carlos Vela opened the scoring for Mexico early in the first half, latching onto a fine through ball by Giovani before firing his shot past a helpless Buffon. Although it was Italy who had the majority of the early chances, …

The Italians are renowned for producing and showcasing endless talent on the world stage, such stars have more than played their part in raising Italy’s reputation over the years as one of International Football’s dominant forces. As the Italians look to the forthcoming world cup in South Africa, experienced manager Marcello Lippi will be hoping that his influencial superstars don’t go missing in the games that matter.
The side boasts a wealth of experience as well as young talent that combine to play fast-flowing attacking football. However Lippi’s provisional squad has seen a shake-up of sorts, with the likes of Luca …