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Italy won't be worried by atmosphere, says Lippi

Written by: Staff

DORTMUND, July 3: Italy coach Marcello Lippi said today his team will not be unnerved in a stadium packed with partisan home fans for the World Cup semi-final against Germany.

With supporters close to the pitch at the Westfalenstadion and in passionate mood, Italy can expect an intense atmosphere.

''We're up against a strong, young, enthusiastic and well-prepared side who will have the stadium all for them,'' said Lippi as he looked ahead to tomorrow's match.

''But most of my players have experience of that kind of game and they won't be affected by the atmosphere,'' he added.

Germany have never lost in 14 games in Dortmund, winning 13 and drawing one, but Lippi said that record did not worry him.

''I've won here twice as well,'' said the coach, who enjoyed success in the Champions League with Juventus against Borussia Dortmund, ''I hope I can enjoy a third win''.

Lippi said he did not feel Italy, who have conceded just one goal en route to the last four, started the game as favourites.

''There are lots of factors but on balance I think it looks 50-50 to me. We said before the quarter-finals, if you get to the semis anything can happen and so now we will see,'' he added.

''We are neither favourites nor underdogs -- we are just a team who want to win,'' said the Italy coach.

The Italians beat Germany 4-1 in a friendly in March but Lippi said nothing should be read into that result.

''I said at the time it would be a mistake if anyone thought there was that sort of difference between the sides. That night everything went well for us and went badly for them,'' he said.

''They took the blow well, it wasn't easy but they regrouped and went on to win the enthusiasm of an entire country -- we have done pretty much the same,'' added Lippi.


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