Dzeko injury for Israel game gives boost to Gutman

Dzeko injury for Israel game gives boost to Gutman

Dzeko is a crucial player for his national side. Here he holds up a man of the match award, won in a game against Iran. Source: Edin Dzeko’s twitter page

Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko could miss the next three weeks with a “very serious” calf injury, including the forthcoming match against Israel on Sunday.

Dzeko was forced from the field just four minutes after replacing Fernandinho during the second half of City’s 2-2 Barclays Premier League draw at QPR on Saturday, and he has been ruled out of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Israel on Sunday.

Bosnia-Herzegovina team doctor Reuf Karabeg confirmed that Dzeko will miss Sunday’s match against Israel.

“It’s a very serious injury and requires the kind of treatment whose time-frame unfortunately rules out a quick return,” Dr Karabeg said on the Bosnia-Herzegovina Football Federation website.

Israel manager Eli Gutman has named a 25-man squad for their crucial Euro 2016 qualifier against Bosnia on Sunday night.

Making four changes from the squad which beat Cyprus and Andorra last month as the Israelis got their qualifying campaign off to a 100 percent winning start, Charlton Athletic defender Tal Ben Haim is once more set to captain the squad, while Lior Refaelov, who scored a hat-trick for Club Brugge in the Europa League on Thursday has earned a recall.

Also in the squad is Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Eran Zahavi, despite the midfielder criticising both Gutman and the Israel Football Association for not supporting him after he was attacked by a Hapoel Tel Aviv fan last week. The pair met for lunch 48 hours later, with Gutman saying: “Eran is a main player on the national team and his commitment to the side is clear and exemplary. The national team is perhaps the one place where it doesn’t matter which club you play for. We have a cohesive and united group of players who are happy to play with each other for a common goal.”

Zahavi admitted he missed a text message from Gutman before going out for lunch with him, saying: “I went through a tough week, a week which reminded me how much I love to play soccer. This is all behind us now and I’m entering this week with a strong desire to play and do whatever I can for Israel.”

Meanwhile, Bosnia manager Safet Susic says he isn’t expecting his side to win in Israel after Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko was ruled out of the game through injury. He said: “If Dzeko can’t play we will be resigned to playing for a draw against Israel because we have no hope of winning without him.”


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