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   June 4, 2002 | 2010 IST



France get the blues

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Trapattoni set to change Italian team

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Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni says he will almost certainly make changes to his side for Saturday's group G match against Croatia.

Italy enjoyed a 2-0 win over Ecuador in their World Cup group G opener in Sapporo on Monday but Trapattoni believes that a different approach may be needed against a Croatia side who lost their opening game 1-0 to Mexico.

The most likely change will be to bring in fit-again striker Filippo Inzaghi to play alongside Christian Vieri, scorer of both goals against the South Americans, with Francesco Totti dropping back into a deeper role.

Trapattoni "That is one of the hypotheses. I need to look at the videos of the Croatians against Mexico and I have 48 hours to assess the condition of the players before I decide," the Italy coach said. "It could be a different 4-4-2 or a 4-3-1-2 with Totti behind two strikers."

Trapattoni fielded a 4-4-2 formation against Ecuador with Totti working well alongside Vieri in attack but he said if he stuck to that tactical formation, left winger Cristiano Doni could be left out.

"Doni suffered a bit and I could play someone different in that role," said Trapattoni.


Doni, making just his second start for his country, struggled to make an impact against Ecuador after being given responsibility for taming the forward runs of wing-back Ulises De la Cruz.

But Trapattoni said that no players in the Italy team could be sure to keep their places throughout the tournament.

"There are no favoured sons and no step-sons," said the Italy coach who admitted the selection headache caused by Inzaghi's return was one he was content to have.

"If it were a choice between having injured players and having the difficulty of choosing from all the players available I would rather have the difficult choices," said Trapattoni.

One man certain to feature again, though, is Vieri and Trapattoni said he was delighted with the performance of the powerfully-built striker.

"All Italian fans have hoped to see the Vieri that we saw on Sunday. I know how Vieri has prepared for the World Cup and Totti as well," said Trapattoni.

"I think we have 80 percent of the players at the top of their condition now and 20 percent not there yet," he added.

Trapattoni thinks Croatia will be a dangerous proposition, fired by the anger of losing their first match.

"I know Croatia well, they have some high class players with character and creativity. They have lost their first match and now will have extra pride and determination to win," said Trapattoni.

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