National team coach Avraham Grant called young Maccabi Haifa striker Shlomi Arbeitman into the 22-man squad he named for Saturday's World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands.
The match, which will kick off at 9:10 p.m. at National Stadium in Ramat Gan, is Israel's final game in the 10-match qualifying run. Israel is currently in third place in Group 4 with 15 points from nine matches one point behind joint leaders Switzerland and France. However, even with a win over the Faroese, the blue-and-white's qualifying chances are dependent upon the results of the Swiss, French and fourth-place Irish.
Arbeitman returns to the senior squad for the first time after a year-and-a-half. He scored a hat-trick in his debut against Azerbaijan in February 2004 and made an appearance against Lithuania the next month, but has been a mainstay in Guy Levy's under-21 side since. Strikers Lior Asulin of Betar Jerusalem and Bnei Yehuda's Moshe Biton were not called up.
The team with the most representatives is Haifa with eight. The squad also boasts three foreign based players: Yossi Benayoun of West Ham United, Tal Ben-Haim of Bolton Wanderers and Pini Balili of Turkey's Sivaspor.
Goalkeeper Dudu Awat of Spain's Racing Santander was not called up after leaving the team before the previous match at the Faroese. Maccabi Petah Tikva's Ohad Cohen is set to be Grant's second choice behind Nir Davidovich.
The squad will train on Monday before being given two days off for Rosh Hashana. It will come together again on Wednesday night.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>