FIFA World Cup: Italy’s Preliminary Squad Announced

Marcello Lippi’s chosen 30 has today been reduced by only two players. Italy’s 2006 World Cup star defender Fabio Grosso and Antonio Candreva, both from Juventus, got axed today.

Fabio Grosso was the man behind Italy’s victory at the 2006 World Cup. He scored the last and decisive penalty kick in the penalty kick competition against France in the final, he scored against Germany in the semi-finals and in the eighth-final against Australia he cheated himself to a penalty kick deep in overtime. (Australia really deserved the victory)

This time Grosso’s form just ins’t good enough for the squad.

The squad will be reduced to 23 players on June 1st.

Goal keepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli), Federico Marchetti (Cagliari), Salvatore Sirigu (Palermo)

Defense: Salvatore Bocchetti (Genoa), Leonardo Bonucci (Bari), Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus), Mattia Cassani (Palermo), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Gianluca Zambrotta (AC Milan)

Midfield: Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), Andrea Cossu (Cagliari), Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma), Gennaro Gattuso (AC Milan), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria), Simone Pepe (Udinese), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan)

Attack: Marco Borriello (AC Milan), Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Vincenzo Iaquinta (Juventus), Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria), Fabio Quagliarella (Napoli), Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal)

Italy are in group with Paraguay, New Zealand and Slovakia (group F).

My prediction: Easy group that Italy should win without any trouble. They’ll make it to the semi-finals.