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Mario Balotelli and Angelo Ogbonna leave Italy camp due to injury ahead of Croatia qualifier

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FLORENCE, Italy — Mario Balotelli and Angelo Ogbonna have withdrawn from the Italian squad ahead of games against Croatia and Albania.

Balotelli had been called up for the first time under Antonio Conte, despite his poor form, but the Liverpool striker strained his lower back and adductor muscles.

Ogbonna has a left hamstring injury and medical staff decided not to risk the Juventus defender.

PHOTO: Italian national soccer team's coach Antonio Conte talks to his players during a training session with the team at the Coverciano Training Center, near Florence, central Italy, Monday, Nov.10, 2014. Italy will play Croatia in Milan on Sunday in a Euro2016, Group H, qualifying round soccer match. It's the first time that the Azzurri coach Antonio Conte has included Balotelli since taking over from Cesare Prandelli after Italy's first-round elimination from the World Cup. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Giovannozzi)
Italian national soccer team's coach Antonio Conte talks to his players during a training session with the team at the Coverciano Training Center, near Florence, central Italy, Monday, Nov.10, 2014. Italy will play Croatia in Milan on Sunday in a Euro2016, Group H, qualifying round soccer match. It's the first time that the Azzurri coach Antonio Conte has included Balotelli since taking over from Cesare Prandelli after Italy's first-round elimination from the World Cup. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Giovannozzi)

It is a blow for Conte, with fellow defender Leonardo Bonucci suspended against Croatia.

Italy plays Croatia in a key European Championship qualifier on Sunday at San Siro — where Balotelli formerly played for both Inter and AC Milan.

Italy and Croatia both top the group with nine points.

The Azzurri then travel to Genoa for a friendly match against Albania on Tuesday.

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