The European qualifiers are back in action next week with two crucial Greek games against Finland away (Saturday, October 11th) and N. Ireland (Tuesday, October 14th) at home.
Coach Claudio Ranieri chose to invite twenty-five players for training at the Agios Kosmas Athletic Center – a large amount, considering that just eighteen can be signed up for each game.
New faces Nikos Karelis of Panathinaikos and Sokratis Dioudis of Club Brugge will join long-forgotten Kostas Stafylidis of Fulham FC and Kostas Fortounis of Olympiacos, who will reappear for the Ethniki after almost a year of absence.
In addition to the aforementioned, there were few surprises in the Italian coach’s other selections:
Goalies: Orestis Karnezis (Udineze), Panagiotis Glykos (PAOK), Stefanos Kapino (Mainz), Sokratis Dioudis (Club Brugge)
Defenders: Vasilios Torosidis, Kostas Manolas, Jose Holebas (AS Roma), Vaggelis Moras (Hellas Verona), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Borussia Dortmund), Kostas Stafylidis (Fulham), Louka Vyntra (Levante),
Giannis Skondras (PAOK)*
Midfielders: Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, Panagiotis Tachtsidis (Hellas Verona), Kostas Fortounis, Giannis Maniatis (Olympiacos), Andreas Samaris (Benfica), Alexandros Tziolis (PAOK), Haris Mavrias (Sunderland), Petros Mandalos (AEK Athens)*
Strikers: Kostas Mitroglou (Olympiacos), Dimitris Salpingidis, Stefanos Athanasiadis (PAOK), Giorgios Samaras (West Bromwich), Nikos Karelis (Panathinaikos)
*Giannis Skondras and Petros Mandalos were the latest additions to the squad in place of injured Avraam Papadopoulos (Trabzonspor) and Panagiotis Kone (Udineze). This will be the PAOK defender’s first call up to the national team.