Italy manager Roberto Mancini has seen a trio of experienced players withdraw from his squad for Friday’s UEFA Nations League clash with England at San Siro.
Currently sitting third in League A Group 3, the Azzurri have lost Marco Verratti, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Matteo Politano to injury, with Davide Frattesi and Manolo Gabbiadini called up as replacements.
Euro 2020 luminaries Gianluigi Donnarumma and Leonardo Bonucci will likely line up at the back for the hosts, and the latter ought to be partnered by Inter Milan’s Alessandro Bastoni.
With no Davide Calabria or Leonardo Spinazzola in the squad for September’s fixtures, Mancini should call upon Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Emerson Palmieri to bomb down the flanks.
Even without Verratti and Pellegrini, Mancini has options in abundance for his midfield selection and may ultimately go with a Jorginho, Sandro Tonali and Nicolo Barella triumvirate.
Italy have very few out-and-out wingers in their ranks this month, so Leeds United new boy Wilfried Gnonto and Freiburg’s Vincenzo Grifo can expect to feature from the first whistle.
Despite going 15 months without a goal at international level, Ciro Immobile can still expect to lead the line as Giacomo Raspadori and Gianluca Scamacca wait their turn.
Italy possible starting lineup: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bastoni, Bonucci, Emerson; Barella, Tonali, Jorginho; Gnonto, Immobile, Grifo