World Cup: Italy

Italy (Group B)

FIFA World Ranking: 14

Players to Watch: Alessandro Del Piero (F), Paolo Maldini (D), Gianluca Pagliuca (GK)

Prospects: They are the team to beat in Group B. Could have tough second round matchup with Norway or Morocco. Should advance to quarterfinals or beyond. Their defense has been first-rate and if Del Piero and Co. can find the net a few times, the sky's the limit. Pagliuca has been elevated back to first-choice keeper after Angelo Peruzzi's leg injury sidelined the Juventus star.

First Round opponents: Chile (6/11), Cameroon (6/17), Austria (6/23)

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