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Litmanen returns for Finnish finale

Published: Thursday 8 November 2007, 16.15CET
Jari Litmanen has recovered from an achilles tendon problem to take his place in the Finland squad for the crucial qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Portugal.
by Mikael Erävuori
from Helsinki
Published: Thursday 8 November 2007, 16.15CET

Litmanen returns for Finnish finale

Jari Litmanen has recovered from an achilles tendon problem to take his place in the Finland squad for the crucial qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Portugal.

Jari Litmanen has recovered from an achilles tendon problem to take his place in the Finland squad for their crucial final UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifiers.

'Still recovering'
Coach Roy Hodgson was delighted to welcome the 36-year-old Malmö FF forward back after he made an early recover from injury. "It is great to have him back in the squad," said the Englishman. "He is still recovering, but there is a chance he might be fit to play in time." Midfielders Teemu Tainio and Markus Heikkinen and striker Mikael Forssell all return after missing the qualifier against Belgium through injury. Finland are fourth in Group A but wins in both of their remaining games could still see them qualify for the finals. They play Azerbaijan at home on 17 November and face Portugal in Porto four days later.

Finland squad
Goalkeepers: Jussi Jääskeläinen (Bolton Wanderers FC), Antti Niemi (Fulham FC), Niki Mäenpää (FC Den Bosch).

Defenders: Sami Hyypiä (Liverpool FC), Hannu Tihinen (FC Zürich), Petri Pasanen (Werder Bremen), Toni Kallio (BSC Young Boys), Toni Kuivasto (Djurgårdens IF), Ari Nyman (FC Thun), Veli Lampi (FC Zürich).

Midfielders: Teemu Tainio (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Mika Väyrynen (PSV Eindhoven), Joonas Kolkka (NAC Breda), Markus Heikkinen (SK Rapid Wien), Jari Ilola (IF Elfsborg), Mika Nurmela (HJK Helsinki), Daniel Sjölund (Djurgårdens IF), Roman Eremenko (Udinese Calcio).

Forwards: Jari Litmanen (Malmö FF), Alexei Eremenko Jr (FC Saturn Moskovskaya Oblast), Mikael Forssell (Birmingham City FC), Jonatan Johansson (Malmö FF), Shefki Kuqi (Fulham FC).

Last updated: 08/11/07 15.42CET

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