Mancini keeps faith with Euro winners for World Cup qualifiers

Mancini has called up 34 players for qualifiers, with 25 of the 26 who were present in Italy's European Championship success last month involved in the latest group.

Italy's team celebrates with the trophy on the podium after winning the Euro 2020 final against England.   -  AP

Coach Roberto Mancini has recalled all but the injured Leonardo Spinazzola from Italy's triumphant Euro 2020 squad for its World Cup qualifiers.

Mancini has called up 34 players for qualifiers against Bulgaria, Switzerland and Lithuania, with 25 of the 26 who were present in Italy's European Championship success last month involved in the latest group.

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Sassuolo striker Gianluca Scamacca gets his first senior call-up, while Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo returns following a long injury layoff.

The Azzurri are unbeaten in 34 competitive games, just one match away from equalling the all-time record held by Spain and Brazil. They have so far won all three of their qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Italy will play Bulgaria on Sept. 2 at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence. It then visits Switzerland in Basel on Sept. 5, before hosting Lithuania on Sept. 8 at the Mapei Stadium in Reggio-Emilia.

Italy's 34-man squad for 2022 World Cup qualifiers:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Pierluigi Gollini (Tottenham/ENG), Alex Meret (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Genoa)

Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Lazio), Alessandro Bastoni (Inter Milan), Cristiano Biraghi (Fiorentina), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Emerson Palmieri (Lyon), Alessandro Florenzi (AC Milan), Manuel Lazzari (Lazio), Gianluca Mancini (Roma), Rafael Toloi (Atalanta)

Midfielders: Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan), Gaetano Castrovilli (Fiorentina), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Jorginho (Chelsea/ENG), Manuel Locatelli (Juventus), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Matteo Pessina (Atalanta), Stefano Sensi (Inter Milan), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Nicolo Zaniolo (Roma)

Forwards: Andrea Belotti (Torino), Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Federico Chiesa (Juventus), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Moise Kean (Everton), Giacomo Raspadori (Sassuolo), Gianluca Scamacca (Sassuolo)

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