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Jun 3, 2014

Italy v Luxembourg: Preview

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Italy coach Cesare Prandelli can breathe a sigh of relief with news that Salvatore Sirigu's injury is not serious.

The Paris St Germain goalkeeper was hurt during Monday's training session in Coverciano, Florence, and will miss Wednesday's international friendly against Luxembourg in Perugia.

Sirigu, who started in Saturday's goalless draw against the Republic of Ireland in London, was taken to a nearby hospital to undergo an X-Ray and tests showed his injuries were not as serious as first feared.

``Fortunately, the exams have excluded any fracture,'' Italy team doctor Enrico Castellacci said to www.figc.it.

``The player has a badly bruised 11th right rib and there is some swelling. It's a painful injury but something that can be managed.

``We are relieved and more calm since getting the results.''

Italy did not want to lose another player, with experienced midfielder Riccardo Montolivo having been knocked out of the World Cup with a leg injury suffered in Saturday's goalless draw with Ireland.

Montolivo fractured his shin and underwent surgery on Monday and will be sidelined for at least six months.

Prandelli also has striker Mario Balotelli available.

The AC Milan striker did not feature against Ireland but is fit to play.

``He is training,'' Castellacci said of Balotelli. ``He does not have a groin injury as reported.

``He is training hard and only has a muscle overload from training, but we are managing it.

``He will be available for selection and he can play.''

Andrea Barzagli will not feature as the Juventus defender is currently having antibiotics for tonsillitis.

Perugia's Renato Curi stadium will be sold out for the last test for Prandelli's side before they travel to Brazil for the World Cup.

The Azzurri, who begin their World Cup campaign against England in Manaus on June 14, went unbeaten in qualifying to top their group yet they are winless in their last six games.

However, Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi is upbeat about his side's chances.

``I am optimistic in terms of the World Cup,'' the Roma midfielder said. ``The game against Ireland gave us a good indication of where we are.

``We need to make the most of this game to prepare in the best possible way for our World Cup opener against England.

``It's impossible to be brilliant right now but our aim is to be at the top by June 14.''

Fortunately for Italy, they take on a Luxembourg side that has lost 17 of their 18 meetings against the Azzurri.

Luxembourg finished at the foot of Group F in their World Cup qualifying campaign with just one win from 10 games - a 3-2 triumph over Northern Ireland last September.

Luc Holtz's men head into the encounter looking to make amends for last week's 5-1 defeat to Belgium in Genk.

ends

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