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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

Gattuso back as Azzurri prepare for Ireland test

Italy coach Marcello Lippi has named a 24-man squad for the World Cup qualifiers away to the Republic of Ireland on Saturday and at home to Cyprus four days later.

The Azzurri welcome back AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso, who missed last month's qualifiers against Georgia and Bulgaria with an ankle injury.

Genoa centre-back Salvatore Bocchetti and Fiorentina defender Alessandro Gamberini return to the national team while Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro has been included in the squad but will be unavailable for the match in Dublin through suspension.

The world champions go into Saturday's showdown four points clear of the Republic at the top of Group Eight, needing only a point to assure themselves of a place in next year's finals.

Italy end their qualifying campaign in Parma against Cyprus.

Italy squad: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli), Federico Marchetti (Cagliari); Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Salvatore Bocchetti (Genoa), Alessandro Gamberini (Fiorentina), Fabio Grosso (Juventus), Nicola Legrottaglie (Juventus), Davide Santon (Inter), Gianluca Zambrotta (Milan); Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), Gaetano D'Agostino (Udinese), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Gennaro Gattuso (Milan), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria), Simone Pepe (Udinese), Andrea Pirlo (Milan); Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Vincenzo Iaquinta (Juventus), Fabio Quagliarella (Napoli) and Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal).

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