Ex-Manchester City star’s injury gives former United man shot at immediate redemption

Italy Azzuri

Mario Balotelli is out of action for Italy on Friday ... giving Giuseppe Rossi the chance to shine.

Italy face Denmark on Friday night already assured of qualification for the World Cup in Brazil next summer. But that being said the Italians are not about to take it lightly on their Scandinavian counterparts by playing a weakened team.

They have still not forgotten the infamous 2-2 draw between Denmark and Sweden that catapulted the Azzurri out of Euro 2004 - despite a late show from Antonio Cassano against Bulgaria.

With that in mind, despite it being almost a decade ago, Italy will have their best team on show.

That would have included Mario Balotelli, who has been in great form since leaving our shores … for home.

But he will not play, as he has suffered a thigh strain and is also a doubt for the Armenia tie next week.

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But in an ironic twist of fate, his injury paves the way for one injury prone returnee to start from the beginning.

Former Manchester United striker Giuseppe Rossi is in the squad, two nears since he last played for the national side.

And now, he is expected to start against Denmark in his place.

In 2010-11 he was sensational, scoring 32 goals in 56 appearances, and for 2011-12 it appeared that the career of the then 23-year-old from Teaneck, New Jersey was going in one direction.

Then, it all went wrong.

On the 26th October 2011 Rossi tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a game against Real Madrid and he was out for six months, in April 2012 he did the same injury and his career looked in tatters.

But after returning to first-team action with aplomb back in Italy with Fiorentina he seems to be fighting fit - and he has been in great form so far this season, scoring six goals in eight games.

There are other options to consider, but mainly for the buzz it would cause, you have to feel that Prandelli will give Rossi the chance to shine… again.

image: © LaertesCTB

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