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Barzagli out, Balotelli a doubt as Italy fine tune

03 June 2014, 16:10

Milan -Italy defender Andrea Barzagli is a likely absentee but Mario Balotelli could return to the fold as Italy host Luxembourg Wednesday in their final World Cup warm-up before flying to Brazil.

Juventus defender Barzagli is feverish with the effects of tonsilitis, according to Italy team doctor Enrico Castellacci, and is unlikely to make Cesare Prandelli's squad for Wednesday's encounter in Perugia.

"It's probable Prandelli won't pick him for the game against Luxembourg," said Castellacci in comments to gazzetta.it.

Balotelli, who has been sidelined with an adductor problem, has trained "normally" and "is available for selection", according to Castellacci.

"He isn't hurting so much that he can't play but it's up to the coach whether he picks him or not," said Castellacci.

Castellacci also revealed Italy's number two goalkeeper, Salvatore Sirigu, had given medical staff a fright after landing heavily on the right side of his chest during training on Monday.

However the Paris Saint Germain goalkeeper was given the all-clear after x-rays revealed no fractures.

Castellacci, meanwhile, jumped in to defend Prandelli after the coach's omission of Giuseppe Rossi from his World Cup party.

Rossi had only recently returned from a four-month injury lay-off, following knee surgery in January, and although apparently on form while appearing for Fiorentina in their final games of the season he did not make the cut.

Rossi said claims that he was not fit enough "made me laugh" and that he had expected to travel to the World Cup because Prandelli had spoken positively of him last week.

However Castellacci added: "From a medical point of view he was quite good, from a physical point of view he had recovered, and no one ever denied that.

"But it was clear to everyone that he wasn't in optimal condition."

Italy will host minnows Luxembourg looking for a morale-boosting win following a scoreless draw against the Republic of Ireland in London on Saturday when the Azzurri lost midfielder Riccardo Montolivo to a fractured tibia.



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