Italy Awaiting Nicolò Barella Test Results with Bated Breath

Defending European champions Italy are reportedly sweating over Nicolò Barella’s match fitness ahead of their Euro 2024 opener against Albania. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Luciano Spalletti will have a definite answer on the Inter midfielder’s physical condition midway through next week.

Barella has been dealing with an injury since the backend of last season. He was unavailable for Gli Azzurri’s first June friendly against Turkey as Italy delivered a toothless showing in a dull 0-0 draw at Renato Dall”Ara on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old will be on the sidelines when Italy lock horns with Bosnia & Herzegovina tomorrow. It will be their final warm-up fixture for Euro 2024. Spalletti’s men will be out to redeem themselves for a disappointing midweek performance and build confidence ahead of the tournament.

Unfortunately, chances are Italy could be without Barella for a curtain-raising fixture against Albania on June 15. His absence would be a massive blow for the reigning holders. The game against Turkey unequivocally showed how integral Barella is to the midfield structure.

Hopefully, he could beat the clock. Italy can ill-afford a slow start, with high-profile clashes against Croatia and Spain waiting in the wings. After failing to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, the Italians have a point to prove in Germany this summer.

Barella’s recovery could be a tournament-defining moment for Italy. But Spalletti has a contingency plan in case the Inter stalwart couldn’t make it. His clubmate, Davide Frattesi, is reportedly the likeliest candidate to fill a potential vacancy.

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