August 26, 2017

MILAN (AP) There were no surprises in the 25-man Italy squad announced on Saturday for World Cup qualifiers against Spain and Israel.

Goalkeeper Mattia Perin returns to the squad for the first time in nearly a year, after injuring his knee in January.

The Genoa shotstopper will likely be behind Italy and Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon and AC Milan's Gianluigi Donnarumma in the pecking order.

The high-profile match against Spain in Madrid on Sept. 2 will help decide the teams' qualifying fate for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The teams are tied for the Group G lead after six matches. Only the group winner automatically qualifies. The runner-up will have to go through a playoff.

Italy has not lost in its previous 56 qualifying matches.

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