France lose Manchester City fullback Gael Clichy through back injury – yet Mario Balotelli set for Italy role

By Dean Wilkins

Manchester City’s Gael Clichy has failed to recover from a back injury and pulled out of France’s international friendly against Italy on Wednesday.

The Blues fullback sustained the knock during their tremendous 2-1 comeback against Tottenham yesterday – Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko cancelled out Steven Caulker’s first-half header.

And the 27-year-old Frenchman will be replaced Benoit Tremoulinas after deciding not to join up with Didier Deschamps’ squad.

A spokesman for the French Football Federation said: “After discussion between the doctors of Manchester City and the France national team, Didier Deschamps has accepted the withdrawal of the Manchester City defender.

“The coach has called up Bordeaux’s Benoit Tremoulinas to join the group of players called up to play against Italy in Parma.”

Roberto Mancini’s men fought back at the Etihad Stadium to pick up another vital three points despite their rocky form.

And after watching Luis Suarez earn Liverpool a point away to Chelsea, City leapfrogged the Londoners into second place and now sit two points behind leaders Manchester United.

There was no room in the squad for Mario Balotelli, who was forced to watch from the stands, but Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has included him in the national squad.

Picture courtesy of JetMan_Dave

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