Lippi wants serenity
Italy coach Marcello Lippi is wary of a dangerous Egypt side but says his team's "calmness and serenity" will help them win their Confederations Cup showdown here on Thursday.
The sluggish world champions were losing to the United States at half-time in their Group B opener against the United States before bouncing back in the second period to claim a 3-1 victory.
Lippi said their comeback was all about teamwork and "peace of mind" and predicted more of the same against the African champions, a match at Ellis Park that will put Italy in the semifinals should they win.
"My squad is made up of players focused on helping the team. That helps us overcome any difficulties on the pitch," said Lippi, back in charge after Roberto Donadoni's sacking in the wake of their disappointing Euro 2008.
"The basis of our success against the United States was our calmness and serenity. I'm convinced that these qualities will continue to help us in this tournament, starting with the match against Egypt."
But Lippi is taking nothing for granted against Egypt, who pushed Brazil all the way in their 4-3 loss on Monday.
"Egypt have won two African titles, I know the team well," he said.
"I really like their coach, I like his way of managing his team - it's going to be tough judged by how they played against Brazil."
Egypt, who are struggling in World Cup qualifying, have said they are playing for African pride and to prove that teams from the continent can compete with the best in the world.
Captain Ahmed Hassan, the most-capped player in the competition with 155 international appearances, said his side had shown against Brazil that they cannot be taken lightly.
"Our first match showed that we're not just here to take part. We proved our warrior spirit and, despite the result, I'm still satisfied by our performance," he said.
"This second game against Italy won't be easy and will definitely be tougher than our first, but we'll go out on the pitch with the will to do well."
The statistics favour Italy, who have beaten Egypt on all four occasions they have met previously, although they have not met since 1954.