Wednesday October 5 2011
Balotelli and Pazzini return home

Mario Balotelli and Giampaolo Pazzini have been forced to withdraw from the Italy squad because of injury.

After losing Domenico Criscito to fitness issues on Tuesday, boss Cesare Prandelli will now be without his two strikers for the games against Serbia and Northern Ireland.

Inter's Pazzini has failed to recover from an ankle problem and the Manchester City ace is suffering with back pain.

There are also concerns over Giuseppe Rossi of Villarreal, but his knee injury seems to be improving and he could be ready for Friday's Euro 2012 test in Belgrade.

Given the losses to his squad, Prandelli is expected to call in some reinforcements for the two games.

Torino defender Angelo Ogbonna is set to join up with the squad after their Serie B game against Grosseto this evening.

It is also being suggested that the tactician will ask Juventus to release forward Alessandro Matri for the double header.

Italy have already qualified for the 2012 European Championships.