With just a few days left before the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, a series of injury hit many of Italy’s key players.
First in the list is the trusted defender, Andrea Barzagli, who dislocated his shoulder in Juventus’ victory over Chievo Verona. The match has barely started when he was forced to leave the pitch after five minutes.
According to reports, he will need at least two months to recover from the said injury.
Unfortunately, Giampiero Ventura’s (Italy’s manager) nightmare does not end with Barzagli’s shoulder problem. He was also forced to drop Claudio Marchisio for precautionary purposes.
Marchisio missed the recently concluded European Championship because of a torn cruciate ligament. Many were optimistic that he would be able to play for the Azurris since he has already played for the Old Lady last month.
Sadly, the Italian Football Federation announced that the midfielder suffered a left lower limb joint overload. Considering this aspect at hand, it would be too risky for Ventura to field Marchisio. The last thing that he wants to experience is sweat over his player’s fitness during the World Cup.
But as if Barzagli and Marchisio were not enough, Napoli’s striker, Manolo Gabbiadini is also out of the qualifiers.
Reports have it that he suffers from muscle fatigue.
Due to the overwhelming injury concerns that Ventura confronts, he immediately turned to his substitutes to fill the gap left by the above-mentioned players.
Davide Astori will be taking Barzagli’s post. He also called on uncapped players such as Roberto Gagliardini and Armando Izzo to take Marchisio’s spot. Lastly, Gianluca Lapadula will be taking Gabbiadini’s role.
Italy is ranked 2nd in Group G. Both Italy and Spain are tied with seven points, but La Roja has a better goal difference, which gives them the right to occupy the top spot of the group.
The Azurri is set to meet the minnow Liechtenstein this Saturday. On November 15, they will be having a friendly against one of their arch rivals Germany.