Friday, 3 October 2008

Casiraghi sticks with tried and tested

Pierluigi Casiraghi has sprung no surprises ahead of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-off with Israel, naming only familiar faces in his 23-man squad.

The five-time champions have Torino midfielder Ignazio Abate and Lazio full-back Lorenzo De Silvestri back from injuries.

Casiraghi also keeps faith with Inter forward Mario Balotelli, who scored on his U21 debut against Greece last month a few weeks after becoming an Italian citizen.

Juventus trio Paolo De Ceglie, Claudio Marchisio and Sebastian Giovinco also feature after playing in the Bianconeri's UEFA Champions League draw at BATE Borisov on Tuesday.

Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi is omitted, however, despite recovering from a thigh injury to score in his comeback game against Sporting Gijon in Spain last weekend. His exclusion may mean he will be called into Marcello Lippi's senior squad – which is announced on Sunday – for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

The Azzurrini will gather in Ancona on Monday night before they face Israel on October 11 with the return leg in Tel-Aviv four days later.

Italy squad
Goalkeepers: Andrea Consigli (Atalanta), Andrea Seculin (Fiorentina), Salvatore Sirigu (Ancona).
Defenders: Marco Andreolli (Sassuolo), Salvatore Bocchetti (Genoa), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Paolo De Ceglie (Juventus), Lorenzo De Silvestri (Lazio), Lino Marzoratti (Empoli), Marco Motta (Udinese), Francesco Pisano (Cagliari).
Midfielders: Ignazio Abate (Torino), Francesco Bolzoni (Inter), Antonio Candreva (Livorno), Luca Cigarini (Atalanta), Daniele Dessena (Sampdoria), Sebastian Giovinco (Juventus), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Piermario Morosini (Vicenza).
Forwards: Robert Acquafresca (Cagliari), Mario Balotelli (Inter), Davide Lanzafame (Palermo), Pablo Daniel Osvaldo (Fiorentina).

Source: UEFA

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