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Italian Squad to Face Austria: Gilardino In, Cassano Out

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 19 Aug 2008

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Italian coach Marcello Lippi named the squad to face Austria in a friendly on August 20 to be played in the Italian municipality of Nizza.

Notable changes to the Euro 2008 squad include Sampdoria midfielder Angelo Palombo in place of Massimo Ambrosini and World Cup winning forward Alberto Gilardino in place of the talented Antonio Cassano.

The list sees a continuation of Juve legend Alex Del Piero and the return of teammate Vincenzo Iaquinta,

Listed defender Giorgio Chiellini will not play as a result of injury he sustained in a friendly match against AC Milan.

An August friendly game usually brings players who have started their season preparation early due to Champions League qualification along and new players for the coach to view before World Cup qualification begins.

Gilardino was delighted to play for the Azzurri once again in almost a year: “I wanted to make myself ready for the preliminaries of the Champions League and for this Azzurri return…It’s a nice feeling to return to the National team, it’s a call up that I really wanted from the first day I arrived to Florence. And to know that I’m going to return to training with the Azzurri with the guiding of Marcello Lippi is very important.”

The squad is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Amelia (Palermo), Buffon (Juventus).

Defenders: Barzagli (Wolfsburg), Bonera (Milan), Cassetti (Roma), Chiellini (Juventus), Dossena (Liverpool), Grosso (Olympique Lione), Zambrotta (Milan).

Midfielders: Aquilani (Roma), Camoranesi (Juventus), De Rossi (Roma), Gattuso (Milan), Palombo (Sampdoria), Perrotta (Roma), Pirlo (Milan).

Forwards: Del Piero (Juventus), Di Natale (Udinese), Gilardino (Fiorentina), Iaquinta (Juventus).

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