Thing with Norway is, they're quite good these days. Not so much the last game vs Belgium (2-2) but before that an impressive string of victories and more importantly, these guys actually play good football.
Marcello Lippi has named the squad for the two World Cup qualifiers and given his first senior cap to Olympics heroes Daniele De Rossi and Alberto Gilardino.
Parma hitman Gilardino and Roma midfielder De Rossi were both expected to break into the top team after their exploits in the European Under-21 Championships and the Athens Olympics, earning the trophy and a Bronze medal respectively.
The Coach has also given Luca Toni the nod after the Palermo man impressed during the 2-0 friendly defeat in Iceland.
Alessandro Del Piero has returned to the squad after he was dropped for the Iceland game due to a lack of form, but the injured Christian Vieri and Antonio Cassano do not make the grade.
However, despite being suspended for the Norway game and injured through most of the summer, Francesco Totti is included.
Italy will open their 2006 World Cup account against Norway on September 4 and then welcome Moldova to Palermo's Stadio Barbera on September 8.
G: Buffon (Juventus), Pelizzoli (Roma);
D: Bonera (Parma), Favalli (Inter), Ferrari (Roma), Legrottaglie (Juventus), Materazzi (Inter), Nesta (Milan), Oddo (Lazio), Zauri (Lazio)
Not easy at all, as we all know Norway plays destructive football. They makes it difficult for the opponent to play football.
But im sure they will be suffering their first defeat under their new coach in Palermo, then they might get down to earth again. , Hehe Norway in Palermo, imagine if Italy had choosen Napoli. Poor Norway.
++ [ originally posted by _Emerson ] ++
Eeh..... yes you do, i have seen Nor-Belgia recently, its paphetic. And why do you hope they play destructive football against Italy?, i guess its in your nature?.
If you saw the Belgium match, you didn't notice our awful defending, but OK attacking play. If anyone played defensively it was the Belgians, even their fans on XT said so. Please tell me why Norway played destructive in that match.
I hope they play destructive against Italy as that is what I think will work. We can't beat them in open, attacking play. I'm defense oriented and don't mind a bit of defensive play, but what that has to do with this I don't know.
I must say I think thats awfully optimistic, given italy's recent diabolical performances. On paper they are favourites, but then again they are favourites for 99% of matches but don't seem to win any of them.
Why do none of you have Totti in your lineups, despite him being in the squad. You honestly think he won't play.. or am I missing something? Italy's best player HAS to play irrespective of the fact that he's been a prick recently. You've surely got to go with Totti behind Miccoli and Gilardino. If I see Del Piero in there then you just have to question Lippi on his usual 'loyalty' to star players that are underperforming. Right now Miccoli (as he has been for at least 2 years now) is miles better than Del Piero in all aspects of the game. Starting Alex would be a crime.
Provided they defend properly, that front trio should just be enough to scrape a 1-0 or 2-1 win.