Italy coach Luciano Spalletti confirmed on Friday that they will be without the injured Francesco Acerbi for Euro 2024 but insisted that his team had "everything we need" for a successful defence of their crown. 

He also defended the inclusion of Nicolo Fagioli in his provisional squad after a seven-month betting ban as "a technical choice". 

The Italian FA announced on Thursday that Acerbi, who is suffering from a chronic groin injury, did not return to the Coverciano national centre where the reigning European champions began their preparations for this year's edition in Germany. 

According to the Italian press, the 36-year-old defender, who has won 34 caps, will undergo surgery on Monday and will be unavailable for a month.

“We're losing an experienced player who was part of an Inter block in defence where everyone knew each other well," Spalletti told a press conference. 

"But a national team is different from a club. You can find what you need elsewhere. 

"We'd be off to a bad start if we focused solely on the absentees, we have everything we need to do well." 

In addition to Acerbi, Spalletti is without Aston Villa's Nicolo Zaniolo due to a left foot injury. 

Fagioli returns after a betting scandal that cost Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali his place on the plane for the Euros.

He returned to duty with Juventus earlier in May, making just two appearances since October when he was hit with a seven-month ban for gambling on football matches.

"It's a technical choice. Fagioli is a quality player with flair but he lacks the basics. We'll see on the pitch if we made the right decision," said the former Napoli coach. 

"You also have to be understanding with him, as he's never bet on his team's matches," he added. 

Italy go into the Euros as defending champion having won the 2020 event, played in 2021 because of Covid, under Roberto Mancini but they failed to qualify for the last two World Cups. 

"I told them one thing had to be clear, the importance of the Azzurro jersey," said Spalletti who took over from Mancini in August. 

"We have to show that we are all fighting together for the same thing.

"Wearing the Azzurro jersey is a wonderful thing. We must promise all Italians that we will be worthy of this opportunity." 

Spalletti will reduce his squad to 26 on June 6. They begin their Group B action against Albania in Dortmund on June 15 before taking on Spain and Croatia.