England vs Italy: Gianluigi Buffon set to miss Group D clash

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Football News

Gianluigi Buffon will miss tonight's World Cup clash between England and Italy in Manaus, reports suggest.

According to speculation from the player's homeland cited by talkSPORT, veteran goalkeeper and captain Buffon has failed to recover from an ankle injury sustained during a training session in time for the Azzurri's opening Group D fixture against Roy Hodgson's side and is receiving additional treatment at the team's hotel.

While Buffon's place in the Italian starting XI had already been subject to doubt due to that aforementioned injury, to have the news that such an experienced and influential figure will miss out is sure to come as a huge source of disappointment to Italy fans and indeed manager Cesare Prandelli.

Italy do, of course, have two other goalkeepers in their squad capable of replacing Buffon, with Paris Saint-Germain 'stopper Salvatore Sirigu the most likely to be given the nod to deputise ahead of Genoa's Mattia Perin.

27-year-old Sirigu - who has eight senior international caps to his name in comparison to Buffon's 140 - made 37 appearances in Ligue 1 for the French champions last season, keeping 19 clean sheets in the process.

Mattia di Sciglio is also set to miss the match, while England will be without the services of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after the Arsenal midfielder strained a knee ligament during a warm-up fixture against Ecuador in Miami.

The meeting between England and Italy will be the sixth game of the 2014 World Cup to date and is the second fixture from Group D following Uruguay's clash with unfancied minnows Costa Rica at the Estádio Castelão in Fortaleza.

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