The game kicks off the entire tournament at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome at 19.45 UK time on Friday.
PSG midfielder Verratti is still struggling to recover fully from a knee injury and once more today did not train with the rest of the team today.
That means it’s practically impossible to see him in the starting XI for Friday’s big match, so Sassuolo midfielder Locatelli should take his place.
It is likely to be the same XI that started in Italy’s 4-0 friendly win over the Czech Republic last week.
Italy’s next opponents in Group A are Switzerland and Wales.
Italy (probable): G Donnarumma; Florenzi, Bonucci, Chiellini, Spinazzola; Barella, Jorginho, Locatelli; Berardi, Immobile, Insigne