Friday March 15 2019
Italy: Pavoletti & Quag in, Balotelli out

Leonardo Spinazzola, Leonardo Pavoletti and Fabio Quagliarella are all in Italy’s first squad of 2019, but Mario Balotelli and Andrea Belotti miss out.

Quagliarella was called up for Italy’s training camp last month and is in an Azzurri squad for the first time since October 2015, while his last cap came five years before that.

However, Pavoletti is preferred to Balotelli and Belotti, the striker keeping his place after scoring 12 times for a struggling Cagliari this season.

Udinese forward Kevin Lasagna is also retained, despite his run of just one goal since December, as are starlets Moise Kean and Nicolo Zaniolo.

Cagliari pair Alessio Cragno and Nicolo Barella are included after missing the training camp due to club commitments, while the list contains three other goalkeepers in Gianluigi Donnarumma, Mattia Perin, Salvatore Sirigu.

Elsewhere, there are returns for Juve full-back Spinazzola, Valencia defender Cristiano Piccini and Roma winger Stephan El Shaarawy.

On the other hand, Milan pair Davide Calabria and Patrick Cutrone are reserved for the Under-21s, joining fellow Azzurrino Sandro Tonali. 

Napoli attacker Lorenzo Insigne is also overlooked due to a thigh injury he picked up just before the squad was announced.

Italy kick off their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign against Finland on March 23 in Udine, before hosting Liechtenstein in Parma three days later.

Italy squad to face Finland and Liechtenstein

Cragno, Donnarumma, Perin, Sirigu; Biraghi, Bonucci, Chiellini, Florenzi, Izzo, Mancini, Piccini, Romagnoli, Spinazzola; Barella, Cristante, Jorginho, Sensi, Verratti, Zaniolo; Bernardeschi, Chiesa, El Shaarawy, Grifo, Immobile, Kean, Lasagne, Pavoletti, Politano, Quagliarella

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