Mario Balotelli is among six players recalled by Italy head coach Cesare Prandelli for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ qualifying matches against Armenia and Denmark.

Manchester City striker Balotelli returns to the Azzurri squad after missing games against Malta and Bulgaria with an eye injury, with Domenico Criscito, Alberto Gilardino, Andrea Ranocchia, Antonio Candreva and Stephan El Shaarawy also welcomed back into the fold. Italy first travel to Armenia for the Group B qualifier on October 12, before facing Denmark at the San Siro in Milan on October 16.

Bologna forward Gilardino and Inter Milan defender Ranocchia make the 27-man squad for the first time in 2012, while Lazio midfielder Candreva returns for the first time having been dropped from Italy's pre-World Cup training camp in 2010.

Prandelli has opted to take another look at AC Milan's El Shaarawy after the teenage forward hit five goals in four games for AC Milan.

Italy squad: Buffon (Juventus), De Sanctis (Napoli), Sirigu (Paris St. Germain), Viviano (Fiorentina); Abate (Milan), Balzaretti (Roma), Barzagli (Juventus), Bonucci (Juventus), Chiellini (Juventus),Criscito (Zenit St. Petersburg), Maggio (Napoli), Ogbonna (Torino), Ranocchia (Inter); Candreva (Lazio), De Rossi (Roma), Diamanti (Bologna), Giaccherini (Juventus), Marchisio (Juventus), Montolivo (Milan), Pirlo (Juventus), Verratti (Paris St. Germain); Balotelli (Manchester City), Destro (Roma), El Shaarawy (Milan), Gilardino (Bologna), Giovinco (Juventus), Osvaldo (Roma).