Most Read Football

Martin O'Neill (right) and Roy Keane oversaw 19 wins with the Republic of Ireland1

O'Neill & Keane quit ROI

Martin O'Neill left his his role of Republic of Ireland Manager, along with assistant Roy Keane.

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Paper Talk: Eriksen in demand

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Neymar celebrates after scoring for Brazil at Anfield3

Neymar expects to face Liverpool

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Luka Modric (left) and Kylian Mbappe: Both in the Ballon d'Or running after impressive World Cups4

Modric odds-on for Ballon d'Or

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Kevin Nolan has been backed for a return to Notts County5

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Serie B keeper Alex Meret earns shock Italy call

 Italy goalkeeper Alex Meret
Italy goalkeeper Alex Meret

Serie B goalkeeper Alex Meret is the surprise inclusion in the Italy squad to face Albania and Holland.

The 19-year-old Udinese player is on loan with second-division SPAL, who are currently top of the league after putting together an 11-game unbeaten run. He already has 32 age-group caps.

Joining Meret as first-timers in the senior Azzurri selection are Atalanta winger Leonardo Spinazzola and Inter Milan full-back Danilo D'Ambrosio, the 28-year-old former Torino player.

After making a fine start to life with Southampton, former Napoli striker Manolo Gabbiadini is recalled.

Elsewhere in Giampiero Ventura's 25-man squad there are few surprises, with breakthrough internationals Roberto Gagliardini, Daniele Rugani, Davide Zappacosta and Nicola Sansone retained.

Italy are set to meet Albania in a World Cup qualifying game in Palermo on March 24 before tackling Danny Blind's Holland in an Amsterdam friendly four days later.

Italy squad: Buffon, Donnarumma, Meret; Astori, Barzagli, Bonucci, Darmian, D'Ambrosio, De Sciglio, Romagnoli, Rugani, Spinazzola, Zappacosta; De Rossi, Gagliardini, Parolo, Verratti; Bernardeschi, Candreva, Insigne, Sansone; Belotti, Eder, Gabbiadini, Immobile.

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Most Read Football

Martin O'Neill (right) and Roy Keane oversaw 19 wins with the Republic of Ireland1

O'Neill & Keane quit ROI

Martin O'Neill left his his role of Republic of Ireland Manager, along with assistant Roy Keane.

Get all the football gossip from the National Papers2

Paper Talk: Eriksen in demand

All the latest transfer gossip from the back pages of Wednesday's UK newspapers as Tottenham's Christian Eriksen is linked with some European giants.

Neymar celebrates after scoring for Brazil at Anfield3

Neymar expects to face Liverpool

Despite being injured on international duty Neymar expects to be fit to play Liverpool in the Champions League.

Luka Modric (left) and Kylian Mbappe: Both in the Ballon d'Or running after impressive World Cups4

Modric odds-on for Ballon d'Or

With the Ballon d'Or awards taking place in December, we take a look at the odds with Luka Modric the current favourite.

Kevin Nolan has been backed for a return to Notts County5

Nolan favourite for Notts return

Kevin Nolan has been backed into the new favourite to become the next manager of Sky Bet League Two side Notts County.

Football Tips

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