Verratti returns but Napoli players left out of Italy squad because of coronavirus
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Marco Verratti returns to the Italy squad but coach Roberto Mancini left out all Napoli players over fears of coronavirus when he named his group Friday for the latest round of international matches.
Napoli, whose last game was against Genoa where there has been an outbreak, announced two cases of Covid-19 on Friday, including a player, two days before they are due to play Juventus on Sunday.
Of the three Neapolitans who were on Mancini's list in September, striker Lorenzo Insigne was already ruled out by injury while goalkeeper Alex Meret and defender Giovanni Di Lorenzo have been left out over concerns about the virus.
"As a precaution, no player from Napoli has been included in this list, pending the evolution of the epidemiological situation after the recent positive cases of Covid-19," the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) said in a press release.
Mancini's expanded 34-man squad includes Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Verratti who returns after missing the September matches through injury and is joined by new club teammate Alessandro Florenzi.
Several players are back more than two years after their last call: Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham), Manuel Lazzari (Lazio) and Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo).
Hellas Verona goalkeeper Marco Silvestri is named for the first time.
Italy face Moldova in a friendly on October 7 in Florence before taking on Poland in Gdansk and the Netherlands in Bergamo in the Nations League.
Italy, undefeated for two years now, got off to a good start in their Nations League campaign, taking the lead of Group 1 after beating the Netherlands 1-0 and drawing 1-1 with Bosnia.
Goalkeepers: Alessio Cragno (Cagliari), Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Marco Silvestri (Hellas Verona), Salvatore Sirigu (Torino)
Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Lazio), Cristiano Biraghi (Fiorentina), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Danilo D’Ambrosio (Inter Milan), Emerson Palmieri Dos Santos (Chelsea/ENG), Alessandro Florenzi (Paris SG/FRA), Manuel Lazzari (Lazio), Gianluca Mancini (AS Roma), Angelo Obinze Ogbonna (West Ham/ENG), Leonardo Spinazzola (AS Roma)
Midfielders: Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan), Giacomo Bonaventura (Fiorentina), Gaetano Castrovilli (Fiorentina), Bryan Cristante (AS Roma), Jorginho (Chelsea/ENG), Manuel Locatelli (Sassuolo), Lorenzo Pellegrini (AS Roma), Stefano Sensi (Inter Milan), Marco Verratti (Paris SG/FRA)
Forwards: Andrea Belotti (Torino), Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Francesco Caputo (Sassuolo), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina), Stephan El Shaarawy (Shanghai Shenua/CHN), Vincenzo Grifo (Freiburg/GER), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Moise Kean (Everton/ENG), Kevin Lasagna (Udinese), Riccardo Orsolini (Bologna)
© 2020 AFP