Balotelli misses out on Italy squad but Pelle gets first call-up

The 24-year-old was not named in Antonio Conte’s first squad back in August and continues to miss out following his poor form for Liverpool this season

Mario Balotelli has once again been omitted from Italy’s national squad but Southampton’s Graziano Pelle has received his first call-up.

The Liverpool forward was not named in Antonio Conte’s first squad at the end of August, although he was suspended for Italy’s opening Euro 2016 qualifying fixture against Norway after receiving two yellow cards during the World Cup.

Balotelli has struggled for form following his €20 million arrival from AC Milan in the summer and has found the net only once in seven appearances for Liverpool this term.

Pelle, a summer signing from Feyenoord, has scored five goals in eight games for the Saints and the 29-year-old has been rewarded with the chance to make his debut at senior level for his national side.

Italy are top of their qualifying group after beating Norway 2-0 and travel to Azerbaijan on October 10 before facing another away tie against Malta three days later.

Italy squad in full…

Goalkeepers: Buffon (Juventus), Perin (Genoa), Sirigu (Paris Saint Germain)

Defenders: Bonucci (Juventus), Chiellini (Juventus), Darmian (Torino), De Sciglio (Milan), Ogbonna (Juventus), Pasqual (Fiorentina), Ranocchia (Inter), Rugani (Empoli),

Midfielders: Aquilani (Fiorentina), Bonaventura (Milan), Candreva (Lazio), Florenzi (Roma), Marchisio (Juventus), Parolo (Lazio), Poli (Milan), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint Germain), Verratti (Paris Saint Germain)

Strikers: Destro (Roma), Giovinco (Juventus), Immobile (Borussia Dortmund), Osvaldo (Inter), Pellè (Southampton), Zaza (Sassuolo)

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