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Barzagli named in Italy squad

By Football News



Italy head coach Cesare Prandelli has named Andrea Barzagli in his Confederations Cup squad despite the defender's fitness concerns.

Barzagli has struggled with tendinitis in his foot and Prandelli had earlier claimed he would wait until Friday's World Cup qualifier against Czech Republic to make a decision on the Juventus defender.

Prandelli had argued he had 'a few small doubts about players with injuries' in his extended 30-man group, which has been in camp in Bologna, and the 55-year-old coach had claimed he would name his Confederations Cup squad on Friday, before releasing his 23-man roster on Monday.

Barzagli is one of seven defenders selected alongside club team-mates Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, with the Juventus trio all likely to play the majority of matches this month.

Prandelli has picked five forwards, including AC Milan's Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy, while the eight-man midfield group features Juventus veteran Andrea Pirlo, Roma's Daniele De Rossi and Alberto Aquilani of Fiorentina.

Gianluigi Buffon, unsurprisingly, leads the goalkeeping contingent, which also includes Paris Saint-Germain's Salvatore Sirigu and Federico Marchetti of Lazio.

Italy have been training in Bologna in the lead-up to the qualifier against the Czechs and warmed up for the match with a 4-0 defeat of San Marino in a friendly last week, while they will head to Brazil soon after Friday's game for their Confederations Cup opener against Mexico on June 16.

If Italy win in Prague, they will move six points clear at the top of Group B in UEFA's qualifying system for Brazil 2014.