AS Roma striker Fabio Borini was
the only new face in Italy's squad for Wednesday's friendly with
the United States but there was no place for in-form Mario
Borini, 20, has been consistent for the Italy Under-21 team and
has burst on to the scene with Roma this term having largely
gone unnoticed during spells with Chelsea and Swansea in the
Coach Cesare Prandelli, whose side takes on Spain, Ireland
and Croatia at June's Euro 2012, is desperate for attacking
options with Antonio Cassano and Giuseppe Rossi facing battles
to be fit for the championships.
The unexplained absence of Balotelli, who scored in
Manchester City's 3-0 win over Blackburn Rovers on Saturday and
looked in fine fettle, is therefore surprising given Antonio Di
Natale is also out with a knock.
Prandelli has in the past left out players because of
disciplinary problems, and Balotelli has just returned from a
domestic ban. Fellow striker Pablo Osvaldo, sent off in Roma's
4-1 defeat at Atalanta on Sunday, was also missing.
However, midfielder Daniele De Rossi was included despite
being dropped from the Roma squad for disciplinary reasons.
Four goalkeepers were also named in Prandelli's 23 for the
game in Genoa, with Emiliano Viviano now fit after a long injury
Juventus duo Simone Pepe and Fabio Quagliarella were left
out while Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia is injured.
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis
(Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain), Emiliano Viviano
Defenders: Ignazio Abate (AC Milan), Davide Astori
(Cagliari), Federico Balzaretti (Palermo), Andrea Barzagli
(Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini
(Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Zenit St Petersburg), Christian
Maggio (Napoli), Angelo Ogbonna (Torino).
Midfielders: Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma), Claudio Marchisio
(Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Thiago Motta (Paris
Saint-Germain), Antonio Nocerino (Milan), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus).
Forwards: Fabio Borini (Roma), Sebastian Giovinco (Parma),
Alessandro Matri (Juventus), Giampaolo Pazzini (Inter Milan).
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