Italy Suffer Devastating Injury Blow Ahead of Vital Showdown Against Croatia

Italy will probably encounter Croatia in Monday’s Euro 2024 Group B qualification six-pointer without Federico Dimarco. The Inter ace will likely have to stay on the sidelines due to a knock he picked up during a 1-0 loss to Spain on Thursday.
Dimarco has been Luciano Spalletti’s first-choice left-back since he replaced Roberto Mancini in charge of Italy last year. The 26-year-old was in the starting lineup in both Euro 2024 games against Albania and Spain.
However, he has failed to recover from a calf problem sustained during the Italians’ matchday-two defeat against La Furia Roja. Dimarco’s absence is a massive blow for Italy. Spalletti will probably turn to Juventus’ Andrea Cambiaso to fill the void.
Cambiaso came off the bench in both previous Euro 2024 outings but failed to impress. As Italy can’t afford a slip-up, the 24-year-old must get back on track unless Spalletti decides to deploy Alessandro Bastoni as a makeshift left-back.
Bastoni’s speed and technical qualities would fill the feed, allowing Alessandro Buongiorno to make his tournament debut. Riccardo Calafiori is another option, considering he was a left-back before Thiago Motta turned him into a center-back at Bologna.
Either way, Italy have the means to replace Dimarco. But Spalletti must consider replacing Giovanni Di Lorenzo on the right. The Napoli captain was a disgrace against Spain, perhaps distracted by growing speculation surrounding his future.
It’s not like Italy don’t have other alternatives. Matteo Darmian and Raoul Bellanova could be decent solutions, especially the latter. Bellanova’s tremendous pace and tenacity could be extremely useful in what promises to be a high-octane game.
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