Lippi reposes faith in 2006 champion squad

   Holders Italy, written off at home as no-hopers to retain their world title and traditionally slow starters, are in danger of being caught napping by in-form Paraguay in their Group F opener on Monday.

Coach Marcello Lippi has kept faith with the bulk of the team that triumphed in Berlin four years ago but local media and Italian fans have not stopped complaining despite an unbeaten qualifying campaign.

A draw with Switzerland and defeat by Mexico in warm-up games added fuel to the fire and with Lippi seemingly still unsure about his first-choice lineup there is a real fear his team could be caught out.

With subsequent games against New Zealand and Slovakia it remains unthinkable the four-times champions could fail to advance but the Azzurri seem to be putting their faith in past pedigree rather than current talent.

Image: Italy's Daniele De Rossi (centre) and Fabio Cannavaro go through the motions during a training session as coach Marcello Lippi (left) looks on
Photographs: Reuters