Italy change six for Bulgaria

Italy are expected to change six of the starting XI for the World Cup qualifier in Bulgaria, including Nicolò Barella, Federico Chiesa, Stefano Sensi and Andrea Belotti.

It kicks off in Sofia on Sunday at 19.45 GMT.

The Azzurri started their campaign with a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland, but Giorgio Chiellini, Domenico Berardi and Francesco Caputo did not make the trip and have returned to their clubs, Juventus and Sassuolo respectively.

Coach Roberto Mancini said he would make several changes and there could well be six of the starting XI transformed.

Chiellini will be replaced by Lazio’s Francesco Acerbi, while Roma’s Leonardo Spinazzola is the natural choice instead of Emerson Palmieri on the left.

Barella would usually start anyway and was only benched in favour of Lorenzo Pellegrini against Northern Ireland because he arrived late due to the Inter COVID bubble.

His Inter teammate Sensi could also get the nod instead of Manuel Locatelli, as Jorginho is out with a knee injury, despite the fact he rarely gets to play at club level either.

Amid various injuries, Sensi has started just one game this season, a 5-2 Serie A victory over Benevento on September 30, 2020.

The trident attack is transformed, only Lorenzo Insigne remaining, as Belotti and Chiesa step in for Ciro Immobile and Berardi.

Italy (4-3-3): G Donnarumma; Florenzi, Bonucci, Acerbi, Spinazzola; Barella, Sensi, Verratti; Chiesa, Belotti, Insigne

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