Eight novices called up

Lippi makes sweeping changes to Italy squad

May 28, 2009

Italy coach Marcello Lippi called up eight uncapped players on Thursday in his squad to face Northern Ireland in a friendly in Pisa on June 6.

The world champions also named 13 established players who will be in the 23-man squad for the Confederations Cup in South Africa. The rest of the squad will be decided by June 4.

None of those 13 players, including captain and new Juventus signing Fabio Cannavaro, will feature in the Pisa game.

Lippi, whose side sit top of World Cup qualifying Group Eight, wants to experiment against Northern Ireland after some average performances in recent matches.

The eight new faces are in-form Cagliari goalkeeper Federico Marchetti, Inter Milan's teenage fullback Davide Santon, Lecce's Andrea Esposito, Palermo defender Mattia Cassani, Catania's Marco Biagianti and Giuseppe Mascara, Siena's Daniele Galloppa and Chievo striker Sergio Pellissier.

AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso has also been included as he bids to prove his fitness for the Confederations Cup having only just returned from knee surgery.

Despite the radical changes, there are again no places for Juventus striker Alessandro Del Piero, Milan forward Filippo Inzaghi and Sampdoria playmaker Antonio Cassano.

Italy squad for Northern Ireland friendly:

Goalkeepers: Morgan De Sanctis (Galatasaray), Federico Marchetti (Cagliari)

Defenders: Mattia Cassani (Palermo), Andrea Dossena (Liverpool), Alessandro Gamberini (Fiorentina), Fabio Grosso (Olympique Lyon), Andrea Esposito (Lecce), Nicola Legrottaglie (Juventus), Davide Santon (Inter Milan)

Midfielders: Marco Biagianti (Catania), Matteo Brighi (AS Roma), Gaetano D'Agostino (Udinese), Daniele Galloppa (Siena), Gennaro Gattuso (AC Milan), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria)

Forwards: Pasquale Foggia (Lazio), Giuseppe Mascara (Catania), Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria), Sergio Pellissier (Chievo), Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal)

13 players named for Confederations Cup:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Marco Amelia (Palermo)

Defenders: Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid/Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Gianluca Zambrotta (Milan)

Midfielders: Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Simone Pepe (Udinese), Andrea Pirlo (Milan)

Forwards: Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Vincenzo Iaquinta (Juventus), Fabio Quagliarella (Udinese), Luca Toni (Bayern Munich)