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Russia plan squad purge for World Cup

Russia
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 By Ben Gladwell

Mourinho backs Italy for WC glory

Jose Mourinho has tipped Italy to win this summer's World Cup, saying the 2006 victors should at least make the final in Rio de Janeiro.

- Horncastle: Rossi's omission follows in Baggio's footsteps

The former Inter Milan coach will be commenting on this summer's big event for Yahoo, and with just under a fortnight before Italy's opening fixture against England in Manaus, the Chelsea manager made his predictions in favour of the Squadra Azzurra.

"They will either win it or reach the final," he said. "Italy can go all the way. They have a very, very difficult group, but Italy are Italy."

Cesare Prandelli's men also face Uruguay and Costa Rica in the group stage, but if they successfully navigate their way through to the last 16, either Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast or Japan lie in wait.

Only subsequently, in the quarterfinals, could hosts Brazil or holders Spain potentially be blocking Italy's path to a fifth World Cup triumph.

"Prandelli's got some talented players and they have the experience and the savoir faire to deal with such important moments," Mourinho said.

"If they get through the group, from the last-16 on, their preparation can make the difference. They've got tradition, faith and a good squad. Yes, I think Italy can do really well."

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