Albania missing central defense in tough match with Italy

Italian Gianni de Biasi coach of Albanian national soccer team speaks during a news conference in Tirana, Monday, March 20, 2017. Alban

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania coach Gianni de Biassi will be missing his central defense when the team faces Italy in a World Cup qualifier.

De Biassi named 23 players Monday but he will be without goalkeeper Etrit Berisha and central defender Berat Gjimshiti because of yellow cards. Central defender Mergim Mavraj is injured.

The Albanians will face Italy on Friday in Palermo.

Albania is fourth in Group G behind Spain, Italy and Israel.