Israel coach Luis Fernandez has included Yossi Benayoun in his squad for the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifers against Croatia and Greece despite the midfielder carrying a calf injury.
Benayoun limped out of Chelsea FC's League Cup defeat by Newcastle United FC last week and although he is doubtful for the visit of Croatia on 9 October, he could be fit for the game in Athens three days later. "We will not risk him and there are ten days before we face Croatia," said Fernandez, whose squad have four points from two Group F matches.
While Benayoun, with 80 caps, is one of the more experienced members of the squad, five players have received their first call-up: KV Kortrjik defender Rami Gershon, former Under-21 captain Oshri Roash, Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC utility player Dor Malul, Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona FC midfielder Elroy Cohen and Maccabi Petach-Tikva FC forward Omar Damari.
Goalkeepers: Dudu Aouate (RCD Mallorca), Ohad Levita (RKC Waalwijk), Ariel Harush (Beitar Jerusalem FC).
Defenders: Tal Ben Haim (West Ham United FC), Dekel Keinan (Blackpool FC), Yoav Ziv (Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC), Dedi Ben-Dayan (Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC), Dani Bondarv (Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC), Dor Malul (Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC), Rami Gershon (KV Kortrijk), Oshri Roash (Hapoel Haifa FC).
Midfielders: Yossi Benayoun (Chelsea FC), Tamir Cohen (Bolton Wanderers FC), Almog Cohen (1. FC Nürnberg), Beram Kayal (Celtic FC), Bebars Natcho (FC Rubin Kazan), Gil Vermouth (Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC), Eran Zahavi (Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC), Lior Rafaelov (Maccabi Haifa FC), Eyal Golasa (Maccabi Haifa FC), Elroy Cohen (Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona FC).
Forwards: Elyaniv Barda (KRC Genk), Roberto Colautti (Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC), Etey Shechter (Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC), Amit Ben Shushan (Beitar Jerusalem FC), Omar Damari (Maccabi Petach-Tikva FC).
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