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Boost for Republic of Ireland as Euro 2016 rivals suffer major injury blow

Key Italian midfielder Claudio Marchisio was stretchered off after just 16 minutes of Juventus’ 4-0 win over Palermo.

Italy Romania Soccer Source: Luca Bruno

ITALY HAVE SUFFERED a big blow ahead of Euro 2016 with the news that influential midfielder Claudio Marchisio suffered a cruciate ligament injury during Juventus’ 4-0 win over Palermo this afternoon.

The 30-year-old, who has been battling fitness issues at various times throughout the campaign, came out second-best in a challenge early on, clutched his left knee and immediately called for attention.

Juve coach Max Allegri later confirmed the severity of the injury and both the Old Lady and the Italian national team will now have to face up to the prospect of being without Marchisio for a long time.

The Azzurri, who are drawn in Group E alongside the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Sweden at this summer’s tournament, could only select Marchisio for four of their 10 qualifiers. Suspended for their opener against Norway, injury meant he missed the other five.

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