Benayoun placed on squad despite injury

Israel hosts Croatia at Ramat Gan on October 9 before traveling to Greece three days later.

October 1, 2010 05:23
1 minute read.
Israel begins its Euro 2012

Israeli football. (photo credit: IFA Web site)

TEL AVIV, Israel – Injured Chelsea midfielder Yossi Benayoun has been included in the Israel squad for the upcoming European Championship qualifiers against Croatia and Greece.

Israel hosts Croatia at Ramat Gan on October 9 before traveling to Greece three days later. Benayoun has not played for Chelsea since limping off with a calf injury during the Carling Cup loss to Newcastle on September 22.

However, Israel coach Luis Fernandez said Wednesday he hoped the national team captain would be fit enough to return to international duty.

“Yossi is a very important player,” Fernandez said, adding that he consulted with the team doctor before including the former Liverpool player.

“We don’t want to take a risk with him,” Fernandez said.

He left open the possibility to rest Benayoun against Croatia to make sure he was fit to play against Greece.

Fernandez also dropped Hapoel Tel Aviv striker Ben Sahar in favor of Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Roberto Colautti.

Celtic midfielder Biram Kiyal retained his place, while Blackpool’s Dekel Keinan is expected to take his regular place in the center of defense.

Full squad: Goalkeepers: Dudu Aouate (RCD Mallorca), Ohad Levita (RKC Waalwijk), Ariel Harush (Betar Jerusalem).

Defenders: Dekel Keinan (Blackpool), Tal Ben-Haim (West Ham), Yoav Ziv (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Dedi Ben-Dayan, Danny Bondarv (Hapoel Tel Aviv), Rami Gershon (Kortrijk), Oshri Roash (Hapoel Haifa).

Midfielders: Yossi Benayoun (Chelsea), Gili Vermut, Eran Zehavi (Hapoel Tel Aviv), Lior Rafaelov, Eyal Golasa (Maccabi Haifa), Dor Malul (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Almog Cohen (Nuremburg), Tamir Cohen (Bolton), Biram Kiyal (Celtic), Bibras Natcho (Rubin Kazan).

Forwards: Itai Shechter (Hapoel Tel Aviv), Elyaniv Barda (Genk), Roberto Colautti (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Elroei Cohen (Ironi Kiryat Shmona), Omer Damari (Maccabi Petah Tikva), Amit Ben-Shushan (Betar Jerusalem).

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