Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini ruled out for England clash

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Good news for the English, but very bad news for the Italians: decorated center back Giorgio Chiellini will miss the Azzurri’s quarterfinal Sunday against England, according to reports out of the Italian camp.

The Juventus defender has a thigh strain, similar to the spring ailment that had cast doubt over his ability to perform at Euro 2012, but apparently not the same injury.

He is likely to be replaced once again by Juve teammate Leonardo Bonucci, who came in for Chiellini in the second half against Ireland.

Bonucci is no slouch, but he doesn’t have Chiellini’s experience (53 caps). And that little bit extra may be the difference considering Wayne Rooney, England’s top talent, is back and presumably sharper after finally getting on the field at Euro 2012.

Remaining Euro 2012 schedule

Quarterfinals

(All matches 2:45 p.m. ET)

Thursday, QF1: Czech Republic vs. Portugal
Friday, QF2: Germany vs. Greece
Saturday, QF3: Spain vs. France
Sunday, QF4: England vs. Italy

Semifinals

June 27: Winner QF1 vs. Winner QF3
June 28: Winner QF2 vs. Winner QF4

Final

July 1

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