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World Cup 2010: Italy Coach Marcello Lippi Picks 16 Certainties For South Africa - Report

Marcello Lippi has chosen the first 16 of his final 23-man squad for the World Cup.

La Gazzetta dello Sport
claims 16 to 17 players who will be certainties for Italy have been chosen, with the rest having just four months to make it into the squad.

The three goalkeepers are Gianluigi Buffon, Federico Marchetti and Morgan De Sanctis.

In defence, the certainties are believed to be Gianluca Zambrotta, Fabio Grosso, Fabio Cannavaro, Giorgio Chiellini, Nicola Legrottaglie and Domenico Criscito. Salvatore Bocchetti, Alessandro Gamberini and Leonardo Bonucci will also be fighting for a call-up. Davide Santon is an outsider, while there are no guarantees of an Alessandro Nesta return.

The midfielders who will go to South Africa are Daniele De Rossi, Mauro Camoranesi, Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio and Gennaro Gattuso, so long as the Milan man can prove his fitness. Riccardo Montolivo and Simone Perrotta will face a tough test to earn the final midfield place.

Vincenzo Iaquinta and Alberto Gilardino pick themselves in the forward line, with Luca Toni being an alternative to the Fiorentina man over Giampaolo Pazzini and Marco Borriello. Francesco Totti is also expected to play, but this has not been confirmed.

Giuseppe Rossi, Fabio Quagliarella, Antonio Di Natale and Simone Pepe will all fight each other for the final shirt.

As for Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano, they will be waiting for a future call-up in hope more than expectation.