Milan: Juventus defender Andrea Barzagli was a notable inclusion as Italy coach Cesare Prandelli named a 23-man squad for the Confederations Cup and a World Cup qualifier away to the Czech Republic.
Barzagli was called into the squad following injury to Luca Antonelli, who limped out of a 4-0 friendly win against San Marino in Bologna on Friday.
Despite nursing an Achilles tendon injury, Barzagli came through a training session unscathed on Monday, prompting Prandelli to include the experienced Juve campaigner in his 23-man travelling party.
Antonelli is the only player from Prandelli's initial 30-man squad, named last week, to miss Friday's trip to Prague, as well as the Confederations Cup in Brazil during the second half of the month, due to injury.
Also cut from the initial squad is Cagliari goalkeeper Michael Agazzi, defenders Angelo Ogbonna (Torino) and Andrea Ranocchia (Inter), midfielders Giacomo Bonaventura (Atalanta), Andrea Poli (Sampdoria) and Cagliari striker Marco Sau.
Prandelli sent a message to those he dropped from the squad, which after defeat to Spain in the Euro 2012 final will be keen to come out on top in Brazil as a prelude to a successful World Cup campaign.
"Whoever did not make the squad shouldn't feel rejected or marked. We will continue to follow these players and offer them the chance of a recall.
"It's been a valuable experience, and it won't be their last. I was satisfied with the efforts of the entire squad these past days."
At the halfway stage of their 10-match World Cup qualifying campaign, Italy sit top of Group B on 13 points, three ahead of Bulgaria, who have played one game more, with Czech Republic on eight points.
It leaves the Azzurri boss with a solid backline including Juve stalwarts Gianluigi Buffon, Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini as well as Christian Maggio, Mattia De Sciglio and Ignazio Abate.
In midfield, Juve's Andrea Pirlo is a virtual shoe-in, and depending to what extent Prandelli continues to tweak his tactical formation -- a 4-3-3 was employed against San Marino -- he still has plenty of options.
Notable additions to the squad's midfield are Fiorentina's Alberto Aquilani and playmaker Alessandro Diamanti of Bologna.
Meanwhile, Alessio Cerci and veteran Alberto Gilardino -- players whose individual skill has shone this season amid placid campaigns for their respective clubs -- add some impetus to a likely three-man front line in which Mario Balotelli will play the central role.
Italy squad for the Confederations Cup:
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Federico Marchetti (Lazio), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris St. Germain/FRA)
Defenders: Ignazio Abate (AC Milan), Davide Astori (Cagliari), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Mattia De Sciglio (AC Milan), Christian Maggio (Napoli)
Midfielders: Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Alessandro Diamanti (Bologna), Emanuele Giaccherini (Juventus), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (AC Milan), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)
Strikers: Mario Balotelli (Milan), Alessio Cerci (Torino), Stephan El Shaarawy (Milan), Alberto Gilardino (Bologna), Sebastian Giovinco (Juventus).