Levy recalls big guns for qualifiers

Elisha Levy will be fighting to keep his job ahead of Israel’s World Cup double-header over the next few days.


Israel host Macedonia on Saturday night and travel to Italy on Tuesday in the latest round of qualifiers. After slumping to a 3-0 home defeat to Albania in June, Israel FA chairman Ofer Eini reportedly wanted to bring in a high-profile foreign coach for the Euro 2020 qualifiers, with Roy Keane top of his wish-list.

With Israel struggling to finish third in their group — unless they register some unexpected results in the remaining matches — manager Levy has recalled Brighton striker Tomer Hemed and goalkeeper Ariel Harush to the squad. Both players had been punished for criticising Levy after being omitted from the team that beat Albania 3-0 away last November.

Levy has also retained veteran former Premier League stars Yossi Benayoun and Tal Ben Haim and given a first call-up to Marwan Kabha, the Maribor midfielder who helped the Slovenians beat Hapoel Beer Sheva to reach the group stages of the Champions League.

Brighton midfielder Beram Kayal misses out after breaking his leg in a pre-season friendly while Celtic’s Nir Bitton has been omitted from the squad. 


Goalkeepers: Ariel Harush (Anorthosis Famagusta), Omri Glazer (Maccabi Haifa), Boris Klaiman (Beitar Jerusalem).

Defenders: Tal Ben Haim (Maccabi Haifa), Shir Tzedek (Hapoel Beer Sheva), Eitan Tibi (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Hatem El Hamid (Hapoel Beer Sheva), Ofir Davidzada (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Ben Bitton (Hapoel Beer Sheva), Taleb Tawatha (Eintracht Frankfurt).

Midfielders: Yossi Benayoun (Beitar Jerusalem), Bibras Nathko (CSKA Moscow), Almog Cohen (Ingolstadt),  David Keltjens (Beitar Jerusalem), Marwan Kabha (Maribor), Dan Einbinder (Hapoel Beer Sheva), Lior Refaelov (Club Brugges), Maor Melikson (Hapoel Beer Sheva), Manor Solomon (Maccabi Petah Tikva), Michael Ohana (Hapoel Beer Sheva).

Forwards: Moanes Dabour (Red Bull Salzburg), Tomer Hemed (Brighton), Tal Ben Chaim (Sparta Prague), Eran Zahavi (Guangzhou)(capt.).

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