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Sport

Italy coach Mancini will rotate team to reduce injury risk

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - UEFA Nations League - Italy Press Conference - Johan Cruijff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands - September 6, 2020 Italy coach Roberto Mancini during the press conference REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw

(Reuters) - Italy coach Roberto Mancini will rotate his team for the Nations League match against the Netherlands on Monday in a bid to reduce the risk of injury to his players.

Mancini’s side drew 1-1 at home to Bosnia on Friday and he said he was reluctant to make players play twice in four days, at the start of the new season. The opening Nations League matches are being played before the start of the new domestic seasons.

“It’s likely we will change a lot of players,” he said. “Some of them have only had two training sessions and they arrived at our training camp without having played a game. It’s an anomalous situation.”

“I don’t want us to have any injuries -- it’s unthinkable, for example, that a player like Stefano Sensi can play two games in four days,” he added. Inter Milan midfielder Sensi picked up a series of injuries last season.

Mancini expressed faith in Moise Kean, 20, and Nicolo Zaniolo, 21, who were dropped from his squad last year after arriving late for a training camp.

“Both Zaniolo and Moise Kean have really matured recently and I hope they continue like that as they are on the right path,” he said. “They will make us and their clubs happy.”

“Nicolo can play both as a right-sided attacking winger and in a three-man midfield, and he has enormous margin for improvement.”

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis

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