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Buffon Set To Miss England World Cup Game

Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon has hinted he will miss Italy's World Cup opening game against England.

Claudio Villa

Buffon is the vocal leader of the Italian national team, however he may have to do his shouting from the bench after he hinted he may miss the opening game of the World Cup with an ankle injury:

"There are many ways to be important, even if you can't be a protagonist on the pitch. So go Salvatore."

However, Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said: "We'll wait until the last minute hoping he can recover."

Obviously Buffon tweeted suggesting he was set to miss the game and manager Prandelli was quick to downplay that, not wanting to tip his hand as to who will be in his starting 11.

This will be a big blow for Italy based on the passion and leadership that Buffon brings. Personally I think Salvatore Sirigu is a fantastic keeper and in terms of quality of personnel, I don't think this will affect them all that much, but it's the other traits that will be missed.

In other injury news, Danny Welbeck has been passed fit for England but Italian full-back Mattia De Sciglio will also be missing with a thigh strain.