YEREVAN, Armenia – Forward Mario Balotelli has a fever and will sit out Italy's World Cup qualifier at Armenia later Friday.
The Italian football federation made the announcement on its website.
Balotelli had been included in the starting lineup that coach Cesare Prandelli announced Thursday. He will be replaced by Juventus forward Sebastian Giovinco, who will pair with Roma's Pablo Osvaldo.
The joint leading scorer at the European Championship, Balotelli also missed Italy's previous two qualifiers against Bulgaria and Malta after undergoing laser eye surgery last month.
Prandelli will hope to have the Manchester City striker back for Italy's next qualifier against Denmark in Milan on Tuesday.
Italy leads Group B with four points.