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Football | Italy

Mario Balotelli © Action Images

Balotelli ruled out of Armenia clash



Forward Mario Balotelli has a fever and will sit out Italy's World Cup qualifier at Armenia later on Friday.

The Italian football federation made the announcement on its website.

Balotelli had been included in the starting line-up that coach Cesare Prandelli announced on Thursday. He will be replaced by Juventus forward Sebastian Giovinco, who will pair with Roma's Pablo Osvaldo.

The joint leading scorer at the European Championship, Balotelli also missed Italy's previous two qualifiers against Bulgaria and Malta after undergoing laser eye surgery last month.

Prandelli will hope to have the Manchester City striker back for Italy's next qualifier against Denmark in Milan on Tuesday.

Italy lead Group B with four points.

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