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With a little more than a month to go till the World Cup in South Africa, Andy Golding challenges the critics of Italy boss Marcello Lippi to reject an expected Ital-Juve call up.

Juventus have come under great scrutiny this season, failing to meet all expectations above all else, it has raised concerns as to Lippi’s expected call up of many of the Juve-based Italians. However despite calls from Lippi’s critics to leave the likes of Grosso and Cannavaro at home this summer, it is certainly an idea Lippi shouldn’t consider.

Firstly Gianluigi Buffon is irreplaceable, right now there isn’t any other Italian goalkeeper with the same experience and presence and should always be first on the starting eleven without any hesitation what so ever, same could also be said for defender Giorgio Chiellini, who is arguably one of the best centre backs in the world at the moment, like Buffon should also be considered as a starter.

The problems however do arise with Chiellini’s defensive partner – Fabio Cannavaro, the man they branded the Berlin wall four years ago in Germany is now a shadow of his former self, however with Alessandro Nesta out of contention due to injury there are few other options, with both Bonucci and Gamberini lacking the necessary international experience, dropping Cannavaro could be far more suicidal.

At left back Fabio Grosso has failed to live up to expectations since his move from Lyon in the summer however, Juve’s co-owned Domenico Criscito is the only natural alternative but lacks the attacking drive that Grosso is renowned for which could hinder the tactical set up, whilst Inter’s Davide Santon has lacked playing time this season and Andrea Dossena is clearly not good enough to dawn the Azzurri shirt.

In midfield Claudio Marchisio should safely make the grade for Lippi’s final 23 judged on his form for club and country, a player that offers real drive from midfield, something that Ricardo Montolivo has failed to provide. Elsewhere Mauro Camoranesi, despite having an injury plagued season there is no doubting his qualities, judging against other options on the right wing it would be far more criminal on Lippi’s behalf to select Simone Pepe who with all respect has the qualities of a lower league player.

In attack Vicenzo Iaquinta may not be a player of world class stature, but does provide a different dimension, his raw pace and work rate is undoubted and could play as Lippi’s ace card.

In conclusion despite the poor season Juventus are enduring, they still provide the core of the National side, take out the likes of Buffon, Cannavaro, Chiellini, Marchisio, and Grosso and what are Italy left with? A team that lacks any spine, a true recipe for disaster. Let us not forget that four years ago Ital-Juve played a large role in their success in Berlin and despite the poor and inconsistent form of players such as Fabio Grosso this season, one must question the dependency of alternatives and it would be a far wiser choice for Lippi to stick with his instincts rather than giving into demands of his critics.

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