England v Italy team news: Gianluigi Buffon OUT of World Cup opener in Manaus

The Azzurri captain has suffered a twisted ankle

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon will miss their opening World Cup match against England tonight after suffering a knock to his ankle in training.

The Italian captain twisted an ankle ahead of the match, and the 36-year-old missed his scheduled pre-match press conference at the Arena Amazonia in Manaus.

The Italian FA have now confirmed that he will miss tonight's match, tweeting: "Italy goalkeeper and captain #Buffon has been officially ruled out of #ENGITA due to an ankle injury".

Paris St-Germain goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu will deputise in a blow that manager Cesare Prandelli could have done without. Speaking ahead of the match, Prandelli admitted that Buffon had taken a knock, but that it was twisted “very lightly” and was nothing to worry about.

CLICK HERE FOR OUR WORLD CUP LIVE BLOG

"He twisted his ankle very lightly," said Prandelli when quizzed on Buffon’s injury. "It was a very, very light ankle twist.

Read more: Gerrard: It is time for England to walk the walk
Hodgson up against fiercest challenge yet
Would a dreary draw be so bad?

"He is receiving therapy at the moment, but it is nothing serious."

Who is Salvatore Sirigu?

Italy are already without full-back Mattia de Sciglio, who was ruled out with injury earlier this week, and the absence of Juventus legend Buffon will be a massive blow to the 2006 World Cup winners.

 

Prandelli was also quick to acknowledge England's threat on the counter attack.

"The attackers have technical skills and are able to use the space available to them in the best way, so we will have to be very careful and we will have to try to control the midfield. That is going to be the key," he said.

Salvatore Sirigu with Gianluigi Buffon during training Salvatore Sirigu with Gianluigi Buffon during training  

Prandelli, like England counterpart Roy Hodgson earlier on Friday evening, downplayed issues surrounding the pitch in Manaus.

Images emerged in the days leading up to Saturday's encounter that showed the surface to be in a shocking state, with over-fertilisation making the grass dry and led to brown patches.

 

Some of those areas appeared to be spray painted over on Thursday but, having trained on the Arena Amazonia surface for more than an hour, Prandelli had no concerns.

"The turf that had been described to me was in a very bad condition, but it is actually in very good condition," he said.

"It is not exceptional, but it is certainly good. As regards to the system of play I am going to use, it is always good to have a few lingering doubts on the night before because up until they very last minute the players must feel that they are still competing for a place on the squad.

"We don't want to give any competitive advantage to anybody."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border