Italy captain Buffon misses training due to fever

Montpellier (France), June 19 (IANS) Italy’s football team captain Gianluigi Buffon missed the training session due to fever on Sunday, while winger Antonio Candreva underwent personalised workout in his bid to recover from a hamstring injury.

Italy rested on Saturday, a day after defeating Sweden 1-0 to book a spot in the pre-quarter-finals of the Euro championship.

“Buffon stayed in the hotel with a fever while Candreva did individual work as he looks to recover as soon as possible from the hamstring problem he picked up against Sweden,” Italy said in their website.

Goalkeeping icon Buffon, 38, had been ill leading up to the win over Sweden, but nevertheless started in the goal and kept a clean sheet for the second time in the tournament.

After the initial warm-up, the team moved on to the usual rondos in the centre circle with four youngsters from the Montpellier academy watching on at the Bernard Gasset centre, according to the statement.

Antonio Conte’s men will play their third and final group stage fixture on Wednesday against Ireland in Lille.

With qualification to the round of 16 as group winners already secured, Conte has already announced that he will give playing time to those who have featured less against Ireland.

There will be some personnel changes but the team is keen to preserve its identity and finish the group with a perfect record as Dino Zoff’s side did at Euro 2000 where they eventually lost at the death to France in the final.

According to the latest reports, there will be either eight or nine changes to the line-up.

Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu will get to play if Buffon is rested, while defenders Angelo Ogbonna and Matteo Darmian step in for Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, who have received a yellow card each.



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