Blue-and-white faces Czechs

Coach Eli Gutman will be hoping to see the fruits of his labor when his squad faces the Czech Republic in an international friendly.

May 25, 2012 06:26
1 minute read.

ISRAEL COACH Eli Gutman 370. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)


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After six intensive days of training, Israel coach Eli Gutman will be hoping to see the fruits of his labor when his squad faces the Czech Republic in an international friendly in Graz, Austria, on Saturday night.

Israel looked desperately disjointed in its 3-2 home defeat to Ukraine in Gutman’s first friendly at the helm in February and the coach will be expecting a significant improvement against the Czechs.

While the Czechs are preparing for their participation in Euro 2012, Israel’s next meaningful match isn’t until September 7 when it opens its 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign at Azerbaijan.

However, with the national team having so little time to train together during the season, Gutman is determined to make the most of this two-week camp in Austria which will conclude with a match against Germany next Thursday.

“Clearly, we will be facing two of the stronger teams on the continent and these matches will give us an idea of where we stand,” said Gutman.

“As soon as you set the bar high it causes the players to lift their level and that is why we chose to play these matches.

One of the goals of this training camp is to instill a tactical game plan and as soon as we do that every player will know exactly what is expected from him.”

Injured goalkeeper Dudu Aouate and striker Elyaniv Barda were both left out of the 25-man squad, with Israel’s newest recruit, Excelsior Rotterdam defender Samuel Scheimann, likely to be handed his debut on Saturday, perhaps even as a starter.

Israel’s lack of depth in the defensive positions led Gutman to call up the 24-year-old Scheimann, who has lived in the Netherlands with his family since the age of five.

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