Soccer-Verratti starts ahead of Locatelli as Italy face Austria

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FILE PHOTO: Euro 2020 - Group A - Italy v Switzerland

LONDON (Reuters) -Marco Verratti was preferred to Manuel Locatelli in the Italy midfield for the Euro 2020 last-16 clash with Austria, while defender Francesco Acerbi came in for injured captain Giorgio Chiellini.

Manager Roberto Mancini kept faith in Verratti who made an impressive comeback from injury in Italy's 1-0 victory against Wales on Sunday, despite Locatelli scoring twice in the Azzurri's previous Group A game against Switzerland.

Acerbi starts for the first time at Euro 2020 with Chiellini yet to recover from a muscular problem, but Mancini otherwise reverted to the side that beat the Swiss in their second game.

Austria coach Franco Foda kept faith with team that sealed second place in Group C with a 1-0 win over Ukraine on Monday.


Italy: Gianluigi Donnarumma; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Francesco Acerbi, Leonardo Bonucci (captain), Leonardo Spinazzola; Jorginho, Nicolo Barella, Marco Verratti; Domenico Berardi, Lorenzo Insigne, Ciro Immobile

Austria: Daniel Bachmann; Stefan Lainer, Aleksandar Dragovic, Martin Hinteregger, David Alaba (captain); Xaver Schlager, Konrad Laimer, Florian Grillitsch; Christoph Baumgartner, Marcel Sabitzer, Marko Arnautovic

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)