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By ESPN Staff

Prandelli axes Balotelli

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has dropped Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli for Wednesday's friendly against United States in Genoa.

• Platt praises Balotelli display

Prandelli, who is still without the services of injured strikers Antonio Cassano and Giuseppe Rossi, has instead named Roma's Fabio Borini in his 23-man squad for the Stadio Luigi Ferraris encounter.

Earlier reports had suggested Balotelli would be left out after receiving a four-match ban for a stamp on Tottenham's Scott Parker while representing his club.

The call-up is the first for the 20-year-old Borini, who has been solid with six goals in 14 Serie A appearances for Roma this season, while Palermo goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano returns to the national team after a long injury absence.

Italy squad: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris St Germain), Emiliano Viviano (Palermo; Ignazio Abate (AC Milan), Davide Astori (Cagliari), Federico Balzaretti (Palermo), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Zenit St Petersburg), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Angelo Ogbonna (Torino); Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Thiago Motta (Inter Milan), Antonio Nocerino (AC Milan), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus); Fabio Borini (Roma), Sebastian Giovinco (Parma), Alessandro Matri (Juventus) Giampaolo Pazzini (Inter Milan).

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