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Fiorentina ace’s injury could dent Italy’s World Cup hopes

| 07.01.2014

Italy’s chances of progress at next summer’s World Cup in Brazil may hang in the balance after star forward Giuseppe Rossi suffered a serious injury while on duty for club side Fiorentina this week.

The Azzurri remain outsiders to win the tournament at 20/1, but they could even struggle to get out of a group containing England, Uruguay and Costa Rica without Rossi, who has been one of the stars of the Italian top flight this season and currently sits top of the scoring charts in Serie A.

Ladbrokes are currently offering odds of 2/1 on Italy going out of the World Cup at the group stage, while a second round exit is quoted at 11/4.

Rossi sprained ligaments in his right knee during La Viola’s 1-0 victory over Livorno and while not a repeat of the anterior cruciate ligament injury that kept him out for over a year, the player is set to visit a specialist who will assess the extent of the damage.

The Gazzetta dello Sport, meanwhile, has expressed concern that the 26-year-old’s place in Italy’s squad for Brazil could be at risk following the injury.

Rossi previously failed to land a spot in Marcelo Lippi’s squad for the 2010 World Cup, with Italy subsequently going out in the groups, though his absence through injury from Euro 2012 failed to dent the Azzurri’s march to the final.

Backing Italy to repeat their USA World Cup 1994 heartbreak with a loss in the final is offered at 14/1 while a semi-final loss akin to their 1990 exit on home soil is priced at 7/1 with Ladbrokes.

But with Rossi likely to be in a desperate race to reach fitness again, and fellow Azzurri strikers Dani Osvaldo and Mario Balotelli both struggling for form at their respective club sides, an earlier exit could be on the cards.

Lumping on a repeat of their France 1998 performance – where Italy departed on penalties at the quarter final stage – could therefore be another one to look out for with odds of 5/2 available on that outcome.

Without Rossi, who already has 16 goals for Fiorentina this term, though things could get a lot worse for Italy, which can only mean good news for England.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.