Prandelli: Buffon injury 'nothing serious'

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli played down concerns over captain Gianluigi Buffon after the goalkeeper twisted his ankle at training.

On the eve of Italy's FIFA World Cup opener against England on Saturday, Buffon, 36, left training early after hurting his ankle.

He was replaced at the pre-match news conference by midfielder Antonio Candreva as Italy prepare for the Group D encounter at the Arena Amazonia in Manaus.

But Prandelli said Buffon's injury was 'nothing serious'.

“He twisted his ankle very lightly," he said.

"It was a very, very light ankle twist. He is receiving therapy at the moment, but it is nothing serious."

Perhaps the patchy and dry pitch in Manaus is a bigger worry for Prandelli, who said it was in better condition than expected.

"As regards the pitch, the grass that had been described to me was in very bad condition but when I got here, it was actually in very good condition," he said.

Prandelli will keep his formation and selection a secret until the last minute, hoping to keep players competing for places.

He believes Roy Hodgson's England are a different outfit to the one that Italy overcame on penalties in the Euro 2012 quarter-finals.

"Two years ago we won on penalties but England are a different team, they have changed their system, their style of play," Prandelli said.

"We have to remember the good things we did in the past but we are facing a new team. Especially in attack, they have four players who are very, very good."


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