Lippi to experiment | World Soccer

Italy coach Marcello Lippi is hoping to experiment with his line-up in this week’s friendly international with Republic of Ireland.

With injuries to Juventus duo Gianluigi Buffon and Mauro Camoranesi, who have shoulder and knee problems respectively, and with Francesco Totti ill, Lippi will try other options as he plans for next month’s World Cup qualifying Group Five encounters with Scotland and Belarus.

Lippi confirmed: “I am sorry for those players who couldn’t be present at our training camp.

“However, this is a group that has quality and the desire to show they can cope even with important absences.”

“Del Piero is back because he is in good shape physically and mentally.”

The former Juventus coach also confirmed that Antonio Cassano is still in his plans despite not including the Roma striker for Wednesday’s friendly.

“Cassano isn’t physically or mentally fit for this match but for the next match he will be involved,” said Lippi.

“What counts at this stage of the season is to get the legs and formation into shape because we don’t have much time to experiment during the season,” Lippi added.

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