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Benayoun named in Israel squad

Yossi Benayoun was today named in Israel's squad for their European Championship qualifiers against Latvia and Georgia at the end of the month.

Chelsea midfielder Benayoun, who is his country's captain, has been out since September with an Achilles problem, but is due to resume full training on Thursday or Friday.

He is unlikely to be involved in his club's Barclays Premier League match against Manchester City on Sunday, meaning he may now make his comeback from injury for the national team.

Israel boss Luis Fernandez said: "I have been in contact with him since his injury and I have heard about his progress.

"I know that Benayoun is not 100% fit but he is the captain. It was sad to see him injured and just seeing him in the squad is very important.''

Israel are fourth in European Championship qualifying Group F and are desperate for victories in their meeting with Latvia on March 26 and Georgia three days later as they bid to keep their campaign alive.

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