Fresh faces but no overhaul in Italy squad
Italy coach Marcello Lippi named some fresh faces in his squad for Wednesday's friendly against Switzerland in Basel but resisted calls for a major shake up after his side's poor Confederations Cup showing.
Lippi has called up three uncapped players - Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio and Genoa defenders Salvatore Bocchetti and Domenico Criscito.
Udinese playmaker Gaetano D'Agostino and Cagliari goalkeeper Federico Marchetti are back in the fold after making their international debuts in the world champions' 3-0 win over Northern Ireland in a friendly in June.
Udinese striker Antonio Di Natale returns after missing the end of last season with a knee injury he suffered in Italy's 2-0 win in Montenegro in a March World Cup qualifier.
Otherwise the rest of the squad is made up of members of the Confederations Cup expedition in June, when Italy were knocked out at the group stage with defeats by Egypt and Brazil.
The selection is also confirmation Lippi intends to keep using a core of players from his 2006 World Cup-winning squad, some of whom look past their best.
Eight of those players are in the squad, including captain Fabio Cannavaro, who will break Paolo Maldini's record of 126 appearances if he plays on Wednesday to become the Azzurri's all-time most capped player.
As expected, World Cup winners Daniele De Rossi, Gennaro Gattuso and Luca Toni have been rested.
Italy will be back in competitive action next month, when they take on Georgia in Tbilisi and host Bulgaria in Turin on Sept. 5 and 9 respectively in Group Eight World Cup qualifiers.
Lippi's men lead the standings with 14 points from six matches, one point more than Ireland with a game in hand.
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Federico Marchetti (Cagliari);
Defenders: Salvatore Bocchetti (Genoa), Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Fabio Grosso (Olympique Lyon), Davide Santon (Inter Milan), Gianluca Zambrotta (AC Milan)
Midfielders: Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), Gaetano D'Agostino (Udinese), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria), Simone Pepe (Udinese), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan);
Forwards: Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Vincenzo Iaquinta (Juventus), Fabio Quagliarella (Napoli), Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal)