Manchester City players on international break November 2012 - Manchester City FC

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Season 2012/13

Balotelli set to lead Azzurri line

  • 13 November 2012 10:05
  • Posted by Mark Booth

It's international week which means it's time to take a look at who is going where for this week of friendly action.

Carrington's exodus included 12 players this time around as national team managers across the globe prepare to test out new combinations and systems on this FIFA international date. 

Italy face France in a blockbuster mid-week encounter in Parma and Mario will be hoping to start after his inspirational showing against Denmark in the Azzurri's last World Cup Qualifier in October. 

On that day he recorded an assist and a goal in a 3-1 win, so will be expected to keep his place up front.

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has offered his support to Mario after the forward was left out of the squad for the Spurs visit on Sunday.

"He's a bit upset about being left out by Mancini, who I know only did it for technical reasons," Prandelli said. 

"But he shouldn't take it to heart, Mancini just thinks others are in better form.

"Clearly he's not satisfied with what he's been doing, Mario has to show that he deserves his place every day in training. 

"He'll get his chance to prove him wrong in two days' time."

Gael Clichy had been named in the France squad to face the beaten Euro 2012 finalists but has been forced to pull out after suffering a slight niggle in the win over Spurs.

There is the potential for two other Blues to take on one another in Bucharest where Costel Pantilimon’s Romania take on Vincent Kompany’s Belgium.

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Meanwhile, there was a reduced compliment of England players called up to the squad by Roy Hodgson, with only Joe Hart making the trip to Sweden to open their new national team stadium.

Joe may be given the night off though, as many writers and pundits expect Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster to be given a first cap between the sticks after his Champions League heroics against Barcelona.

James MilnerJoleon Lescott and Gareth Barry were all left at home as Hodgson opts for a young, experimental squad that includes Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha for the first time.

Elsewhere, the Toure brothers and Abdul Razak will be spared the lengthy plane journey to Africa as their Ivory Coast side takes on Austria in Linz.

There’s no such luck for Sergio Aguero and Pablo Zabaleta who boarded a plane destined for Riyadh straight after Sunday’s victory over Spurs to join up with the Argentina team that takes on Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

Serbian duo Aleksandar Kolarov and Matija Nastasic also received the call from Sinisa Mihajlovic to report for duty as they take on Chile in St Gallen, Switzerland.

Finally, Sunday’s hero Edin Dzeko has been an automatic selection for Bosnia-Herzegovina for some time now so it’s no surprise that he will contest a friendly against Algeria on Wednesday.

We'll have a full international round-up for you on mcfc.co.uk on Wednesday night.

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