Bologna's Simone Verdi returns to Italy squad for qualifiers

There were no surprises in the 25-man Italy squad announced on Saturday for their final World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia and Albania.

Bologna winger Simone Verdi received a second call-up, after making his debut in March a friendly against Netherlands.

There was still no space for Nice forward Mario Balotelli despite him scoring five goals in his past five matches for the French club.

Italy host Macedonia in Turin on Friday before travelling to Tirana for their final World Cup qualifier against Albania three days later.

Italy are second in UEFA Group G, three points behind Spain. They needs one point from their final two qualifying matches to secure second spot and a playoff place for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The full squad:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Mattia Perin (Genoa)

Defenders: Davide Astori (Fiorentina), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (AC Milan), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Danilo D'Ambrosio (Inter Milan), Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), Daniele Rugani (Juventus), Leonardo Spinazzola (Atalanta), Davide Zappacosta (Chelsea)

Midfielders: Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain)

Forwards: Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Antonio Candreva (Inter Milan), Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Andrea Belotti (Torino), Eder Citadin Martins (Inter Milan), Manolo Gabbiadini (Southampton), Ciro Immobile (Lazio)