Dele Alli has withdrawn from England’s squad for the friendly against Switzerland on Tuesday with a “minor muscle strain”.
The Tottenham midfielder, who picked up the problem in Saturday’s 2-1 Nations League defeat to Spain, will be treated by his club rather than joining the Three Lions at Leicester’s King Power Stadium.
Manager Gareth Southgate had already bolstered his squad with Foxes pair Ben Chilwell and Demarai Gray, both of whom could make their debuts at the home ground, and has not called up a replacement for Alli.
France boss Didier Deschamps has praised centre forward Olivier Giroud’s “strength of character” after he ended his international drought with a superb volley in Sunday’s 2-1 Nations League triumph against the Netherlands.
Giroud, 31, lashed in a second-half cross from Manchester City left-back Benjamin Mendy at Stade de France to seal the win.
The Chelsea man had failed to score when his nation succeeded at World Cup 2018. But he’s now moved ahead of legendary playmaker Zinedine Zidane into fourth place in Les Bleus’ all-time top-scorers list.
Watch Deschamps’ reaction below.
Balotelli, 28, has been drafted back into the Azzurri set-up by his long-term mentor after four years away.
But the enigmatic Nice star came in for renewed criticism after a listless 62-minute run-out in Friday’s 1-1 Nations League stalemate with Poland.
Watch how Mancini reacted when quizzed about the player he handed an Internazionale debut to and bought for Manchester City.