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Balotelli out of Italy game

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli will sit out Italy's World Cup qualifier in Armenia on Friday, due to suffering from a fever.

Balotelli, 22, had been included in Azzurri manager Cesare Pradelli's starting line-up, announced yesterday, but Juventus man Sebastian Giovinco will now replace him alongside Roma's Pablo Osvaldo in attack.

Team doctor Enrico Castellacci told the press on Thursday Balotelli had "a cold which is affecting him a little physically" before wrongly predicting that "hopefully he'll feel better on Friday".

Balotelli, who pulled out of Italy's squad to face England in August due to conjunctivitis, is expected to recover in time to face Denmark on Tuesday.

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