Israel name squad for Greece double-header

Israel manager Dror Kashtan has named his squad for the World Cup qualifying double-header against group leaders Greece.

Lying second in Group Two, one point behind the Greeks, Israel hosts Otto Rehhagel’s side on March 28, before travelling to Heraklion for the return fixture four days later.

Premier League stars Yossi Benayoun, Tal Ben Haim, Tamir Cohen and Ben Sahar head the 24-man squad though Pini Balili and Roberto Colautti are among notable absentees.

Captain Benayoun, who has missed Liverpool's last two games, against Real Madrid and Manchester United, remains a doubt through injury Uncapped players Dein Mori and Gil Vermouth have also been called into the squad.

The inclusion of Bolton midfielder Cohen is regarded as something of a surprise as the player has not played for his club this season. Cohen said: "It's great to be back in the squad. This is my home and I want to thank Dror Kashtan and assistant coach Moshe Sinai for giving me this chance. I hope I won't disappoint them.”

The squad: Dudu Awat (Real Mallorca), Nir Davidovitch (Maccabi Haifa), Liran Strauber (Maccabi Netanya), Tal Ben Haim (Sunderland), Avi Strul, Yoav Ziv (both Lokeren), Dedi Ben Dayan, Klemi Saban (both Maccabi Netanya), Dekel Keinan, Eyal Meshumar (both Maccabi Haifa), Dein Mori (Bnei Yehuda), Yossi Benayoun [(Liverpool, capt)], Gal Alberman (Borussia Monchengladbach), Tamir Cohen (Bolton), Beram Kayal (Maccabi Haifa), Aviram Baruchyan (Betar Jerusalem), Ravid Gazal (Maccabi Netanya), Gil Vermouth (Hapoel Tel Aviv), Ben Sahar (De Graafschap), Etey Schachter (Maccabi Netanya), Omer Golan (Lokeren), Elyaniv Barda (Genk), Barak Itzhaki, Amit Ben Shushan (both Betar Jerusalem)

    Last updated: 10:52am, March 20 2009