Cats Pair Get Provisional World Cup Call-Ups

Gareth Copley

Two Sunderland players are a step closer to Brazil.

Emanuele Giaccherini and Jozy Altidore have been named in the provisional Italy and United States squads for this summer's world cup.

Azzurri coach Cesare Prandelli and USA counterpart Jurgen Klinsmann have both opted to name initial 30-man squads for the summer show piece tournament before whittling that number down to 23.

Altidore looks a certainty to not only make the finals but also play a key role for his national side. Despite a misfiring season at Sunderland, he remains a huge favourite of Klinsmann's and will be confident of seeing plenty of football out in Brazil.

Giaccherini may have a slightly more nervous training camp, though. The former Juventus man has struggled for games since his summer move and Italy is not short on midfield talent. Before his switch to Wearside, however, Prandelli told him he would stay in his plans regardless, and he has certainly stayed true to that.

One thing that may help get Giaccherini to Brazil is his versatility, as well as his reputation in his homeland for being a very reliable squad player.

Considering there won't be a huge amount of Sunderland representation at the World Cup this time around, it would be nice if these two made the planes.

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