Italy lose Abate, Antonelli to injury
Italy have called up defensive reinforcements for Tuesday's key World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic after losing defenders Ignazio Abate and Luca Antonelli to injury.
Right-back Abate, who plays for AC Milan, sustained an adductor problem while Genoa left-back Antonelli suffered an ankle sprain in Friday's 1-0 win over Bulgaria which moved Italy to the brink of qualification.
Both will miss Tuesday's fixture in Turin, forcing Italy coach Cesare Prandelli to call up Manuel Pasqual of Fiorentina and Lorenzo De Silvestri of Sampdoria.
"Ignazio has an adductor problem while Luca badly sprained his ankle," Prandelli said after Friday's clash.
"Both are quite serious injuries and neither will be available for the game against the Czechs."
De Silvestri's only previous cap came in a 5-0 win over the Faroe Islands in September 2010, while Fiorentina captain Pasqual's last Italy appearance was in 2008.
Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne, meanwhile, also came off injured on Friday after receiving a knock and will likely lose his place to Emanuele Giaccherini.
Italy top Group B on 17 points and hold a seven-point lead on Bulgaria, with the Czech Republic in third but on the same points as fourth-placed Armenia following a shock 2-1 home defeat to the minnows on Friday.
With three qualifiers remaining, Italy will clinch top spot and automatic qualification with a win on Tuesday.