Fernandez Calls Up Squad For Euro 2012 Qualifiers
Israel is preparing for its most important games of the qualifying campaign for Euro 2012. This is theoretically where the new manager Luis Fernandez has to earn his paycheck. Croatia and then Greece within three days is basically make or break for Israel’s campaign in the Euros. Both teams on paper are better, with Greece being marginally so. Croatia will undoubtedly pose the greater challenge with players like Luka Modric of Tottenham, and Eduardo and Darijo Srna of Shakhtar Donetsk. Croatia has a very balanced squad and is exceptionally strong in the midfield. However, IF Israel bring’s its A game then any result is possible. Greece are a different kind of team with a plethora of defensive players and tends to rely more on its counter-attack. Greece are a more familiar foe for the Israelis whom they tied and lost to in the last qualifying campaign. Luis Fernandez made a few controversial notably leaving out Maor Buzaglo and calling up Alroee Cohen, but other than that his squad was largely within the expectations of the public and media in Israel. Israel will be relying on Elyaniv Barda and Itay Shechter to cause trouble for opposing defences after Yossi Benayoun’s injury, even though he has been included with the team. Israel will have to score first if they want to give themselves a chance to win against either team.
Keepers: Dudu Aouate (Mallorca), Ohad Levita (RKC Waalwijk), Ariel Harush (Beitar Jerusalem)
Defenders: Tal Ben-Haim (West Ham United), Dekel Keinan (Blackpool), Rami Gershon (Kortrijk), Yoav Ziv (Maccabi Tel-Aviv), Dani Bondarv (Hapoel Tel-Aviv), Dedi Ben-Dayan (Hapoel Tel-Aviv), Dor Malul (Maccabi Tel-Aviv), Oshri Roash (Hapoel Haifa)
Midfielders: Tamir Cohen ( Bolton Wanderers), Almog Cohen (Nurnberg), Bibras Natcho (Rubin Kazan), Eran Zahavi (Hapoel Tel-Aviv), Gili Vermouth (Hapoel Tel-Aviv), Eyal Golasa ( Maccabi Haifa), Lior Rafaelov ( Maccabi Haifa), Yossi Benayoun (Chelsea)**
Forwards: Amit Ben-Shushan (Beitar Jerusalem), Aloroi Cohen (Kiryat Shmona), Elyaniv Barda (Racing Genk), Itay Shechter (Hapoel Tel-Aviv), Omer Damari (Hapoel Petah-Tikva), Roberto Colautti (Maccabi Tel-Aviv)
*Biram Kiyal of Celtic was called up, but pulled out due to abdominal pain. * Even though Yossi Benayoun was called up it is unlikely he will play in either game.