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Brazilians denied key strikers for Italy game

BRAZILIANS are cursing Italians after being deprived of two of their forwards for today's friendly against Italy in London.

While the world champion is spoilt for choice for strikers, Brazil is counting the cost of Kaka's injury playing for AC Milan and the refusal of Juventus to allow Amauri to go on international duty.

Kaka suffered a foot injury in Milan's 1-1 home draw with Reggina on Saturday and is out of the Italian game along with next Sunday's derby against Inter Milan.

Amauri was given his first call-up by Brazil after an injury to Luis Fabiano but Juventus would not release him because the request came too late under FIFA rules.

The striker, who is awaiting an Italian passport, could now end up playing for Italy in the future.

There was further controversy ahead of the game with some Italian politicians wanting the match to be canceled because of a row between the two countries over an extradition. Italy coach Marcello Lippi dismissed the calls but has bemoaned the match being on Tuesday rather than Wednesday.

"It is a game of great prestige, but it is a shame we are playing on Tuesday," he said.

"Two of the most successful national sides in the world are meeting, with all our best players, and to play it 48 hours after the league matches means we will clearly lose something."

Lippi cannot complain about his choice of strikers though, especially as he again overlooked Alessandro Del Piero.

Luca Toni and Alberto Gilardino are likely to be in contention for a starting berth as the lone frontman.


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