European-based talent dominates the squad that incoming trainer ELI GUTTMAN has selected to begin his tenure in charge of the national team as ISRAEL welcome 2012 UEFA European Championships co-host UKRAINE to the new HaMoshava Stadium in Petah Tikvah for an international friendly match on the final day of February.
English Premier League veteran YOSSI BENAYOUN of FC Arsenal is expected to wear the captain’s armband as well as orchestrate the Israeli attack from midfield while Spanish legionnaire DUDU AOUATE of Real Mallorca will be an important man between the sticks for the hosts; Israel are without two prominent but injured national team members, midfielder BIRAM KAYAL of Scottish side Glasgow Celtic as well as striker ITAY SHECHTER of German club 1.FC Kaiserslautern, for the match with the visiting Ukrainians.
1.FC Kaiserslautern striker ITAY SHECHTER, the 25-year-old former FC Hapoel Tel Aviv attacker with 11 caps and three goals for Israel who is in his first season abroad, still leads his new German Bundesliga employers in goal-scoring this term but is not fit at the moment and will miss the international friendly with 2012 UEFA European Championships co-host Ukraine.
Goalkeepers … Dudu AOUATE (Real Mallorca / Spain), Dani AMOS (FC Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona)
Defenders … Dedi BEN DAYAN (AC Omonia Nicosia / Cyprus), Tal BEN HAIM (FC Portsmouth / England), Elad GABAI (FC Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona), Rami GERSHON (Royal Standard Liege / Belgium), Dekel KEINAN (FC Cardiff City / Wales), Yuval SPUNGIN (AC Omonia Nicosia / Cyprus), Eitan TIBI (FC Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona)
Midfielders … Yossi BENAYOUN (FC Arsenal / England), Almog COHEN (1.FC Nuremberg / Germany), Maor MELIKSON (Wislaw Cracow / Poland), Bibras NATCHO (FC Rubin Kazan / Russia), Lior RAFEAELOV (KV Club Brugge / Belgium), Adrian ROCHET (FC Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona), Eran ZAHAVI (Palermo / Italy)
Strikers … Elyaniv BARDA (Racing Genk / Belgium), Tal BEN HAIM II (FC Hapoel Petah Tikvah), Omer DAMARI (FC Hapoel Tel Aviv), Tomer HEMED (Real Mallorca / Spain), Ben SAHAR (AJ Auxerre / France)
Ukraine national team trainer OLEG BLOKHIN (second from right), the celebrated, two-time Olympic medalist and 1975 European Player of the Year who remains forever the all-time leading marksman of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics having totaled 42 goals in 112 ‘full’ internationals, included eight of his own FC Dynamo Kiev players in the squad traveling to the Middle East to meet Israel.
Goalkeepers … Andriy DYKAN (FC Spartak Moscow / Russia), Olexandr SHOVKOVSKIY (FC Dynamo Kiev)
Defenders … Bohdan BUTKO (FC Illychivets Mariupil), Yevhen KHACHERIDI (FC Dynamo Kiev), Olexander KUCHER (FC Shakhtar Donetsk), Vitaly MANDZIUK (FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Taras MIKHALIK (FC Dynamo Kiev), Yaroslav RAKITSKY (FC Shakhtar Donetsk), Yevhen SELIN (FC Vorskla Poltava)
Midfielders … Olexandr ALIYEV (FC Dynamo Kiev), Denys GARMASH (FC Dynamo Kiev), Oleh GUSEV (FC Dynamo Kiev), Yevhen KONOPLYANKA (FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Serhiy NAZARENKO (SC Tavriya Simferopol), Ruslan ROTAN (FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Antoli TYMOSHCHUK (Bayern Munich / Germany), Andriy YARMOLENKO (FC Dynamo Kiev)
Strikers … Marko DEVIC (FC Metalist Kharkiv), Artem MILEVSKIY (FC Dynamo Kiev), Andriy VORONIN (FC Dynamo Moscow / Russia)
Ukraine national team captain ANATOLI TYMOSHCHUK of Bayern Munich
ISRAEL v UKRAINE