Italy without Verratti for England and Hungary matches
Italy boss Roberto Mancini has confirmed his side will be without Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti for their Nations League matches with England and Hungary.
Verratti was substituted off during the second half of PSG’s Ligue 1 victory at Lyon on Sunday with an apparent calf problem.
PSG boss Christophe Galtier said after the game that the 29-year-old would delay linking up with the Italy squad to instead undergo a scan in Paris on Monday.
And Mancini is now preparing for Friday’s visit of England and the trip to Hungary three days later without Verratti, with Sassuolo’s Davide Frattesi in line for a call-up, while there was better news regarding Milan’s Sandro Tonali and Napoli’s Matteo Politano.
“Verratti is not available. He’s picked up a knock,” Mancini said at a press conference on Monday. “I’ll probably call Frattesi to replace him.
“As for the other players, Tonali’s problem is not a big one and Politano feels well.”
Italy drew with Germany and England either side of beating Hungary in their first three Group A3 matches, before going down 5-2 in the reverse fixture with Germany last time out.
The reigning European champions are third, two points off leaders Germany and three points ahead of England in the relegation spot.
“Anything can happen in this group,” Mancini said. “It wasn’t pleasant losing 5-2 in the last game, but even then I saw some positive signs.
“Sometimes you need these kind of games to help you improve. It came at the end of the last season when we played a lot of matches.
“But the younger players have gained experience and we’ve done well overall with the five points collected.”