After struggling in Bulgaria, Italy calls up fullbacks Santon and Abate for England friendly


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TURIN, Italy — Italy coach Antonio Conte has called up fullbacks Davide Santon and Ignazio Abate for Tuesday's friendly match against England.

The pair replaces Matteo Darmian and Manuel Pasqual.

Darmian's face was bloodied from a knock during Italy's 2-2 draw against Bulgaria in European Championship qualifying Saturday, while Pasqual sat out injured.

Santon plays for Inter Milan and Abate for AC Milan.

The Azzurri defense struggled for long stretches in Sofia and Italy needed an 84th-minute equalizer from Brazilian-born forward Eder on debut to extend its unbeaten streak in qualifying to 25 matches.

Tuesday's friendly will be played at the Juventus Stadium in Turin.

In their last meeting, Italy beat England 2-1 in the group phase of last year's World Cup. Both sides were eliminated after the group stage.

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