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Luiz Felipe, Joao Pedro called up for Italy against North Macedonia

Lazio defender Luiz Felipe and Cagliari forward Joao Pedro have both received their first call-up for Italy on Friday ahead of next week’s World Cup play-off against North Macedonia.

Brazil-born duo Felipe and Pedro had been included in the Italy training camp in January, but striker Mario Balotelli has missed out on a place in the play-off squad along with Milan’s Alessio Romagnoli.

The Azzurri will take on North Macedonia in Palermo on March 24. If they win the reigning European champions will then play the winner of Portugal versus Turkey five days later. 

Injury absences include AS Roma defender Leonardo Spinazzola, who has not played since rupturing an Achilles tendon during the European championships, with Juventus winger Federico Chiesa’s season over with a knee injury.

Juve midfielder Manuel Locatelli has been called up despite testing positive for Covid-19 on Thursday.

Italy squad

Goalkeepers: Alessio Cragno (Cagliari), Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain), Pierluigi Gollini (Tottenham), Salvatore Sirigu (Genoa)

Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Lazio), Alessandro Bastoni (Inter), Cristiano Biraghi (Fiorentina), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Emerson Palmieri (Lyon), Alessandro Florenzi (AC Milan), Luiz Felipe (Lazio), Gianluca Mancini (Roma)

Midfielders: Nicolò Barella (Inter Milan), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Jorginho (Chelsea), Manuel Locatelli (Juventus), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Matteo Pessina (Atalanta), Stefano Sensi (Sampdoria), Sandro Tonali (Milan), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain)

Forwards: Andrea Belotti (Torino), Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Joao Pedro (Cagliari), Matteo Politano (Napoli), Giacomo Raspadori (Sassuolo), Gianluca Scamacca (Sassuolo) Mattia Zaccagni (Lazio), Nicolò Zaniolo (Roma).

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