Latest Group F team news ahead of the World Cup in South Africa which starts on June 11:
Italy coach Marcello Lippi aims to name his World Cup squad on May 18, ahead of the June 1 deadline, but whether he will remain in his post beyond the tournament remains a mystery.
“On May 18th I should be able to name who is in the 23 plus four stand-bys. Some time ago I said we were 70 percent there with the squad and now I’m missing four or five players, a little more patience please,” Lippi told www.gazzetta.it.
“With the federation president Giancarlo Abete we have clear ideas. He said that before the World Cup we’d know who will be the coach afterwards, but he didn’t use the word new…”
In light of the loss for the World Cup of shooting victim Salvador Cabanas, Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino will be pleased with the scoring form of Benfica’s Oscar Cardozo, who hit a hat-trick in their 5-0 rout of Olhanense.
He will also have noted the hat-trick scored by Lucas Barrios for Borussia Dortmund in a 3-2 win over Nuremberg. Barrios, born in Argentina, received Paraguayan nationality through his mother this month, making him available for Paraguay at the World Cup.
Midfielder Nestor Ortigoza, another naturalised Argentine-born player who has already made his Paraguay debut and is likely to go to South Africa, scored for Argentinos Juniors in a 3-1 win over Gimnasia-La Plata that put his side second in the Argentine Clausura championship.
Locally-based players will get their final chance to impress All Whites coach Ricki Herbert as he finalises his World Cup squad when 15 players from the A-League and New Zealand’s domestic league assemble for a 12-day camp starting on Thursday.
Herbert told local media he had already nailed down “18 or 19″ players for the 23-man squad he will take to South Africa, with several overseas players, such as Blackburn Rovers central defender Ryan Nelsen, almost certainly pencilled in.
The overseas-based players, including captain Nelsen, will assemble in Auckland with the rest of the squad for a final camp in late May before the team heads to Australia for their warm-up match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground against Australia on May 24.
Striker Filip Holosko scored an equaliser for his club Besiktas in their 2-2 home draw with Sivasspor, leaving them fourth in the Turkish first division nine points off the pace with three games left.
It was Holosko’s sixth league goal in 18 appearances for Besiktas and his fourth in the last eight games, but the club have only a theoretical chance of clinching the title after winning only one of their last five matches.
Midfielder Dusan Svento stayed on course to win the Austrian league title with Salzburg, after a 1-1 home draw with Rapid Vienna in their top of the table clash left the defending champions six points ahead.
(Editing by Miles Evans;
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