Everton striker Moise Kean and Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo axed by Italy for ill-discipline

Sport360 staff 10:32 31/08/2019
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Moise Kean

Italy coach Roberto Mancini has dropped Moise Kean and Nicolo Zaniolo from his squad picked on Friday to face Armenia and Finland in Euro 2020 qualifying, punishing the starlets for their behaviour during the Under-21 European Championships.

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini, 35, who had been named in the squad, was later ruled out as he will undergo surgery after tearing a ligament in his right knee during training with the Serie A champions on Friday.

Mancini has called up Lazio defender Francesco Acerbi in place of 103-times capped Chiellini.

Roma’s exciting midfielder Zaniolo, 20, and Everton’s new 19-year-old signing Kean were selected by Mancini last season after bursting onto the scene with impressive displays in Serie A.

However they were dropped for Italy’s last group game during the summer’s Under-21 tournament, held in their home country, after arriving late for a video session and, as predicted by Italian media, Mancini has decided to extend the punishment to the upcoming senior matches.

The Azzurri, three points clear at top of Group J after winning all four of their matches so far, travel to Armenia on Thursday before taking on second-placed Finland away three days later.

Full-back Luca Pellegrini, loaned to Cagliari after being bought by Juventus from Roma this summer, is the only new face in the squad.

Meanwhile Mario Balotelli, newly of hometown team Brescia, has not been selected as he serves a four-match suspension for a red card he picked up with Marseille at the end of last season.

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N'Golo Kante missing for Chelsea again ahead of Sheffield United visit

Press Association Sport 20:06 30/08/2019
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N'Golo Kante

N’Golo Kante will again be missing for Chelsea when they host newly-promoted Sheffield United in the Premier League on Saturday.

The France international is struggling with an ankle sprain and will not be fit to face the Blades.

Pedro (hamstring) is out having been injured in the warm-up ahead of the win at Norwich last time out, with Antonio Rudiger (knee) and long-term absentees Callum-Hudson Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (both Achilles) also absent.

Club record signing Oli McBurnie could be handed his first Premier League start for United.

The 23-year-old striker scored his first goal for the Blades in the defeat to Leicester and could be rewarded with a place in the XI at Stamford Bridge, having been withdrawn at half-time during the midweek Carabao Cup win over Blackburn.

United boss Chris Wilder brought in 10 new faces for that second-round tie and wholesale changes are expected again.

Chelsea provisional squad: Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Zouma, Emerson, Jorginho, Mount, Giroud, Pulisic, Caballero, Alonso, Tomori, Barkley, Kovacic, Willian, Abraham, Batshuayi

Sheffield United provisional squad: Henderson, Moore, Baldock, Stevens, Fleck, O’Connell, Jagielka, Stearman, Bryan, Basham, Egan, Lundstram, Freeman, Osborn, Morrison, Norwood, McBurnie, Sharp, Robinson, McGoldrick, Mousset.

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Frank Lampard confident Chelsea spotlight not too bright for Mason Mount

Press Association Sport 20:03 30/08/2019
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Chelsea boss Frank Lampard believes Mason Mount will be able to deal with the increased scrutiny after starting the season in fine form and earning an England call-up as a result.

The 20-year-old has scored twice for the Blues having started all three opening Premier League games.

Mount, who played under Lampard while on loan at Derby last year, has previously been included in senior England squads but is yet to make his debut.

England manager Gareth Southgate is a big fan of Mount and invited him to train with his World Cup squad ahead of the tournament last summer.

Speaking after calling Mount up for the forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifying double-header against Bulgaria and Kosovo, Southgate said the Chelsea man has been “one of the outstanding players” in the Premier League so far this season.

Lampard insists he knows the player well enough to predict he will not be affected by such achievements at this stage of his career.

“We’re delighted for Mason, it is great recognition,” he said of Mount’s England inclusion.

“He had it (a call-up) at Derby but missed out with injury. He was potentially in contention to start, so he hasn’t had his chance yet. So I’m delighted he’s got this chance again.

“I’m not concerned about it, I spoke about this after Norwich. I’m confident in his strength of character, desire and hunger. Those things won’t affect him.

“Everyone has to keep their feet on the ground to a degree, he first and foremost. I think he will as it’s only the start for him in terms of his Chelsea career.

“But I’m confident he will take the responsibility that comes with it and keep working, because that is what is important now.”

Mount is expected to retain his place in Lampard’s side when they welcome newly-promoted Sheffield United to Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

One player who definitely will not be involved is N’Golo Kante, the midfielder also missing out on the latest France squad as Lampard looks for him to regain fitness over the international break.

“N’Golo Kante is not fit but to the continuation of his ankle problem and he won’t be travelling with the France squad either,” Lampard said.

“I had a conversation with (France head coach) Didier Deschamps and we both agreed it’s the best thing for him. Let’s try and get him fit over the break.

“It’s a setback, of course. My focus is then to make sure he’s OK. He’s had four years of constant football at an incredibly high energy and output level.

“We have to get that right. It’s the right thing to do, we have a strong squad and the performance last week was very good. We have to be strong as a squad and hopefully we’ll show that.”

Pedro will also miss out after injuring his hamstring in the warm-up ahead of the 3-2 win at Norwich, while Callum Hudson-Odoi remains absent.

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