Balotelli, El Shaarawy recalled by Italy

Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy have been recalled to the Italian national team for next week's Euro 2016 qualifiers against Croatia.

Liverpool forward Balotelli has not been involved in any Italy squad since Antonio Conte replaced World Cup coach Cesare Prandelli in August, with the former Milan star failing to impress since returning to England.

The 24-year-old has played nine times in the Premier League so far this season, eight of which were from the start, but he is yet to score as he continues to attract criticism.

El Shaarawy on the other hand earned his recall on the back of scoring his first Serie A goal since February 2013 in Milan's 2-2 draw at Sampdoria.

The 22-year-old suffered an injury-ravaged campaign last season and he is in line to win his first cap since June 2013 when Italy host the Croatians at San Siro next Sunday.

Italy will then play Albania in a friendly in Genoa on Tuesday - with new players expected to be used in that game.

Atletico Madrid forward Alessio Cerci also returns to the fold despite failing to start a single match for the La Liga champions in any competition this season.

Meanwhile, Conte could hand debuts to Emiliano Moretti, Andrea Bertolacci and Roberto Soriano, but neither Lorenzo Insigne nor Andrea Pirlo will be involved due to injury.


Squad in full: 

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Mattia Perin (Genoa), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain)

Defenders: Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Torino), Mattia De Sciglio (Milan), Emiliano Moretti (Torino), Angelo Ogbonna (Juventus), Manuel Pasqual (Fiorentina), Andrea Ranocchia (Inter), Daniele Rugani (Empoli)

Midfielders: Andrea Bertolacci (Genoa), Giacomo Bonaventura (Milan), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Alessio Cerci (Atletico Madrid), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Roberto Soriano (Sampdoria), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain)

Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Liverpool), Stephan El Shaarawy (Milan), Sebastian Giovinco (Juventus), Ciro Immobile (Borussia Dortmund), Graziano Pelle (Southampton), Simone Zaza (Sassuolo)