Italy Lose Another Regular Midfielder as Lorenzo Pellegrini Bows Out

Italy coach Roberto Mancini is forced to make a second change to his initial midfield. Lorenzo Pellegrini picked up a thigh problem in practice and has been ruled out for the Euro. Gaetano Castrovilli will take his place on the roster. The Roma midfielder finished the season on the mend with a strain and did not participate in the warm-ups, but he was expected to be ready for the opener. He suffered a relapse of the previous injury, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports.

Pellegrini announced his forfeit on Instagram: “Unfortunately, this damn thigh issue will not allow me to play in the Euro. I am very bitter, but now we have to cheer even harder for this fantastic group of real men. I am sure they will give their soul from start to finish in every game. I believe in them. Let’s lads, let’s go Italy.”

Stefano Sensi previously bowed out with a similar injury and was substituted by Matteo Pessina. The deadline to make some tweaks is set at 12 am the day before the first game. In the meantime, Marco Verratti, who is nursing a knee sprain, has resumed doing some work with the ball and could be available for the second match against Switzerland, SportMediaset informs.

As for other national teams, Diego Llorente has returned two negative COVID tests in a row, and the first one has thus been deemed a false positive. He has been allowed to re-join his teammates in practice. Karim Benzema has avoided significant injuries and, while he missed practice, he is expected to recover in two or three days and should be good to go for the Germany bout, RMC Sport indicates.