Italy’s Mario Balotelli ruled out of Croatia game

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Milan | Published: November 16, 2014 9:02:53 AM

Italy striker Mario Balotelli is out of Sunday's Euro 2016 qualifier against Croatia because of a groin strain...

Italy striker Mario Balotelli is out of Sunday’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Croatia because of a groin strain, having only just been called back into the squad for the first time since the World Cup.

“He couldn’t train, it was pointless to keep him with the group, at least I’ve had the chance to check on him for a few days,” Italy coach Antonio Conte told a news conference having previously left the maverick forward out while he settles at his new club Liverpool.

Juventus defender Angelo Ogbonna is also out of the Group H clash in Milan through injury.

Neither team were able to train at the San Siro on the eve of the game due to the severe downpours which have hit northern Italy and forced the rugby international with Argentina to be brought forward by a day to Friday.

Croatia coach Niko Kovac, whose side top the group with three wins from three like Italy, said: “If the weather continues like this we won’t be able to play.”

Italian officials downplayed the risk of a postponement.

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