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Italy facing pair of injury concerns before Confederations Cup

Jun 14, 2013, 9:43 PM EDT

FBL-WC2014-CONFED-ITA-TRAINING Getty Images

Just two days before their opening match, Italy are sweating over the fitness of two of their youngest and brightest stars.

20-year-old AC Milan winger Stephan El Sharaawy sat out training with a slight muscle problem. It’s not thought to be serious, and he still is thought to be fit enough to play.

22-year-old striker Mario Balotelli limped off and left training with physios due to a leg problem, but again, it’s thought to be minor.

Manager Cesare Prandelli will be hoping the health of both attackers holds up, as their first matchup Sunday is against Mexico.

El Tri have struggled mightily to score goals, but they have also excelled at not conceding in their recent CONCACAF qualifiers, so Italy’s strike force must be in top shape.

Interestingly enough, the reports also say the training session was focused on a formation experiment, using Mario Balotelli up front as the lone striker, with Emanuele Giaccherini and Claudio Marchisio in supporting roles.

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