Aji Yulianto
Antonio Cassano has again been overlooked by Marcello Lippi but their are debut call-ups for Marco Motta, Salvatore Bocchetti and Giampaolo Pazzini.

22 Mar 2009 18:32:00

Marco Motta - Italy (Grazia Neri)
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Marco Motta - Italy (Grazia Neri)

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Italy coach Marcello Lippi has named his squad for the World Cup qualifying double-header against Montenegro and Ireland, and the big news is that Sampdoria star Antonio Cassano has again been overlooked.

The 26-year-old has been in mesmeric form since the turn of the year, and this latest snub will surely lead to questions as to whether Cassano will ever feature in a Lippi-led Italy side.

However, there are a number of new faces. Roma's Marco Motta, Genoa's Salvatore Bocchetti and Samp's Giampaolo Pazzini receive their debut calls while Matteo Brighi returns having earned his only Italy cap way back in 2002. Lazio's Pasquale Foggia is also back.

Injuries mean there are no places for Alberto Aquilani, Simone Perrotta, Mauro Camoranesi and Luca Toni.

Simone Pepe is retained despite calls for him to be dropped, while Atalanta star Sergio Floccari is overlooked again. Alberto Gilardino fails to make the cut after suffering an injury for Fiorentina this afternoon.

Italy will travel to Montenegro next Saturday before hosting the Republic of Ireland in Cassano's hometown of Bari on April 1. The Azzurri are currently joint-top of Group 8 with the Irish.

Italy Squad

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juve), Marco Amelia (Palermo), Morgan De Sanctis (Galatasaray)

Defenders: Salvatore Bocchetti (Genoa), Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Andrea Dossena (Liverpool), Alessandro Gamberini (Fiorentina), Fabio Grosso (Olympique Lione), Marco Motta (Roma), Gianluca Zambrotta (Milan).

Midfielders: Matteo Brighi (Roma), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Pasquale Foggia (Lazio), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria), Simone Pepe (Udinese), Andrea Pirlo (Milan).

Forwards: Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), Vincenzo Iaquinta (Juventus), Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria), Fabio Quagliarella (Udinese), Giuseppe Rossi (Villareal).

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