Lippi: We must beat Scots
By Nadia Carminati
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Italy coach Marcello Lippi has stressed the importance of beating Scotland.Italy coach Marcello Lippi has stressed the importance of beating Scotland in Saturday's World Cup qualifier.
The Azzurri play host to Scotland in Milan at the weekend, with Lippi's troops currently top of Group Five.
Scotland are without a win in the qualification programme, with Lippi looking to ensure that sequence continues.
Lippi, though, is wary about the impact his players' club seasons could have on Italy's chances of vanquishing the Scots.
"We must beat Scotland," affirmed Lippi.
"Verdicts are really close and players must be good in this hot seasonal moment.
"I don't trouble them when they are with their clubs but when they are here they must think only of the national team."
With the Serie A campaign building up to a fantastic climax, Lippi is also worried about the prospect of a title play-off between Juventus and Milan affecting his plans for the June qualifier against Norway.
He added: "I pray that it won't be necessary. It would be damaging for us.
"The Saturday after Serie A ends, Italy will play in Oslo.
"It would be a problem if, the previous Wednesday, there is a play-off for the scudetto."
Lippi also discussed the contrasting situations of Antonio Cassano and Alessandro Del Piero, with the Azzurri coach keen to get to know the Roma starlet after dropping the Juventus talisman.
"I have a big will to know Cassano on and off the pitch," he continued. "I wanted to call him up to talk with him not only about football.
"This isn't a rejection and he (Del Piero) knows it.
"It's a strange thing that a case has been born for the person who I have coached more than the others.
"At this moment I'm happy he has conquered everyone again."