World champions Italy beat local team the Guateng All Stars 6-0 in a practice match at their Southdowns College training base here on Friday.
Coach Marcello Lippi gave his clearest indication yet of what his FIFA World Cup™ starting XI and formation will be as he played what seemed to be his top side for one hour in a 4-3-3 system. Only Andrea Pirlo, who has a calf strain, and Daniele De Rossi, suffering a minor calf complaint and left out for precautionary reasons, didn't take part.
Lippi played what seemed a first choice defence with Gianluca Zambrotta and Domenico Criscito flanking captain Fabio Cannavaro and Giorgio Chiellini in the centre ahead of Gianluigi Buffon. With two first choice midfielders out, veteran Gennaro Gattuso joined Riccardo Montolivo and Claudio Marchisio in midfield with Vincenzo Iaquinta and Simone Pepe either side of Alberto Gilardino up front.
With Italy leading 4-0 just before the hour mark, Lippi changed his entire team, except for Chiellini as there was no-one left to replace him. The world champions went on to add two more with Pepe and Gianpaolo Pazzini grabbing braces and Iaquinta and Antonio Di Natale scoring the other two.
Italy's first match is against Paraguay in Cape Town on Monday.