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Any hope left for Falcao?

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Real escape with hope of progress

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By ESPN Staff

Striking trio return for Italy

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has handed recalls to Andrea Pirlo, Alberto Gilardino and Giampaolo Pazzini for the European Championship qualifiers against Estonia and the Faroe Islands.

The trio return after missing Prandelli's first match in charge, August 10's 1-0 win over the Ivory Coast, while Prandelli - who succeeded Marcelo Lippi after a dismal World Cup campaign - has opted for a new-look defence.

There are first call-ups for Palermo's Cesare Bovo, full-backs Luca Antonelli of Parma and Lorenzo De Silvestri of Fiorentina and Sampdoria centre-half Daniele Gastaldello.

Parma and Palermo also provide two of the three goalkeepers, Antonio Mirante and Salvatore Sirigu, with Emiliano Viviano of Bologna also included as Prandelli is again forced to cope without the injured Gianluigi Buffon.

Juventus duo Simone Pepe and Fabio Quagliarella, Sampdoria's Antonio Cassano and Giuseppe Rossi of Villarreal complete the forward selection alongside Gilardino and Pazzini as Mario Balotelli and Amauri join Buffon on the sidelines.

Italy squad to face Estonia on Friday, September 3 and the Faroe Islands on Tuesday, September 7: Antonio Mirante (Parma), Salvatore Sirigu (Palermo), Emiliano Viviano (Bologna); Luca Antonelli (Parma), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Cesare Bovo (Palermo), Mattia Cassani (Palermo), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Lorenzo De Silvestri (Fiorentina), Daniele Gastaldello (Sampdoria), Cristian Molinaro (Stuttgart); Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma), Andrea Lazzari (Cagliari), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan); Antonio Cassano (Sampdoria), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria), Simone Pepe (Juventus), Fabio Quagliarella (Juventus), Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal).

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