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Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon set to miss World Cup opener vs. England

Italy veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is set to miss the Azzurri's World Cup opener against England. Photo:

Italy veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is set to miss the Azzurri's World Cup opener against England.

MANAUS, Brazil (AP) - Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon says he doesn't expect to face England in their World Cup opener on Saturday, following an ankle injury in training.

Buffon, who picked up the injury at the Arena da Amazonia on Friday, wrote on his Twitter account ''there are many ways to be important, even if you can't be a protagonist on the pitch. ... So go Salvatore.''

Italy reserve goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu of Paris Saint-Germain is expected to start the Group D match.

Coach Cesare Prandelli remained more hopeful about the keeper's chances, telling Italian state broadcaster Rai `'we'll wait until the last minute hoping he can recover.''

Sirigu impressed in a 0-0 draw with Ireland two weeks ago in a warm-up match and has Champions League experience with PSG.

World Cup Day 3 Preview: England-Italy headlines four-game slate

SI's Grant Wahl previews the four World Cup games on Day 3 of the competition, none bigger than England and Italy's clash on the dicey field in Manaus.

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