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Fiorentina’s Biraghi called up for injury-hit Italy’s Euro deciders

Cristiano Biraghi has been called up for Italy’s final Euro 2024 qualifiers against North Macedonia and Ukraine, the country’s football federation said on Tuesday.

Fiorentina captain Biraghi joins the Azzurri’s Coverciano training camp after Juventus midfielder Manuel Locatelli was ruled out of the two decisive Group C fixtures on Monday.

Locatelli joined AC Milan captain Davide Calabria, Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret and Atalanta defender Rafael Toloi on the treatment table after injuries picked in the most recent round of Serie A matches.

Coach Luciano Spalletti is also without Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali until next season following his gambling suspension, with attackers Mattia Zaccagni and Mateo Retegui also injured.

Italy are third, three points behind Ukraine who occupy the group’s second automatic qualifying spot but have played a game more than the European champions.

Spalletti’s team host North Macedonia, who dumped Italy out of the last World Cup at the play-offs, in Rome on Friday before taking on Ukraine in Leverkusen the following Monday.

Four points from those two matches will give Italy the chance to defend their title at next summer’s tournament in Germany.

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