Okaka and Cerci among recalls for Italy friendlies as well as fit again Marchisio

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MILAN — Italy coach Antonio Conte has recalled Stefano Okaka and Alessio Cerci, as well as Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio to his 28-man squad for upcoming friendlies against Belgium and Romania.

Marchisio, who has been injured, and AC Milan midfielder Cerci have been included for the first time since March, while it has been just under a year since Okaka made his one and only appearance for Italy — scoring the winning goal against Albania.

Bologna midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini was also recalled, more than a year after his last appearance for Italy.

Conte left out forwards Lorenzo Insigne and Domenico Berardi, who pulled out of the last squad with injury.

Midfielders Daniele de Rossi and Marco Verratti are injured while Andrea Pirlo has been left out after the end of the Major League Soccer season.

Italy plays Belgium — currently first in the FIFA World Rankings — in Brussels on Friday before hosting Romania in Bologna four days later.

Italy squad:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Daniele Padelli (Torino), Mattia Perin (Genoa), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain).

Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Sassuolo), Luca Antonelli (AC Milan),Davide Astori (Fiorentina), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), Mattia De Sciglio (AC Milan), Lorenzo De Silvestri (Sampdoria).

Midfielders: Giacomo Bonaventura (AC Milan), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Alessio Cerci (AC Milan), Stephan El Shaarawy (AS Monaco), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Emanuele Giaccherini (Bologna), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (AC Milan), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Roberto Soriano (Sampdoria).

Forwards: Manolo Gabbiadini (Napoli), Eder (Sampdoria), Stefano Okaka (Anderlecht), Graziano Pelle (Southampton), Simone Zaza (Juventus).

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