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Lippi warns Italy of pitfalls against U.S.

Written by: Staff
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KAISERSLAUTERN, June 16 (Reuters) Italy must avoid the traps of over-confidence and under-rating their opponents when they face the United States in World Cup Group E tomorrow, coach Marcello Lippi said.

The Italians made a positive start to their campaign with a 2-0 victory over Ghana while the United States fell to a 3-0 loss against the Czech Republic.

''One of the errors we could make it is under-estimate them because they lost 3-0. The Czechs were fortunate to get an early goal but then the U.S. hit the post and that could have made it a very different game,'' Lippi told a news conference after training today.

The Italian team received plenty of praise for their display against Ghana but Lippi said he also sees a potential pitfall in the positive response to his team's performance.

''We have to take that as something to give us confidence but we certainly haven't to get carried away with eulogies,'' he said POTENTIAL ADVANTAGE With the Czechs having racked up three goals against the Americans they have a potential advantage in case the race for top spot came down to goal difference but Lippi said there was no thought of that factor yet.

''Again, this is another mistake we have to avoid. We have to think about winning. The moment we start thinking about scoring a lot that would be very presumptuous sin. We have to have the same attitude that we had on Monday,'' he said.

''They are a very well organised side who don't give the ball away and have valid players in every area,'' added the Italy coach.

In the build-up to the game, Italy players had struggled to name any US player other than their captain Claudio Reyna but Lippi showed he had done his homework by naming seven of the likely starters for Bruce Arena's side.

REUTERS DH RAI0117

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