Ranieri drops Mitroglou from Greece soccer squad

Greece coach Claudio Ranieri on Friday overlooked veteran strikers Costas Mitroglou and Giorgos Samaras from his 23-man squad for a Euro 2016 qualifier against the Faroe Islands at home on November 14.

Olympiakos forward Mitroglou and Samaras of West Bromwich Albion failed to impress in Greece’s three previous European qualifiers where they suffered two losses and a draw.

Ranieri opted for Akhisar Belediyespor’s veteran striker Fanis Gekas, currently one of the top scorers in the Turkish Super League, and also from Turkey brought back Trabzonspor defender Avraam Papadopoulos.

Ranieri called up for the first time AEK Athens defender Michalis Bakakis, 23, and 29-year-old Levante UD defender Nikos Karabelas for his side which is also scheduled to play a friendly against Serbia on November 18.

Greece, the 2004 European champion, is second from bottom of its qualifying Group F ahead of the Faroes, with just one point after three games.

Greece squad:

Goalkeepers: Orestis Karnezis (Udinese/ITA), Panagiotis Glykos (PAOK), Stefanos Kapino (FSV Mainz 05/GER)

Defenders: Costas Manolas, Vasilis Torosidis, Jose Holebas (all Roma/ITA), Vangelis Moras (Verona/ITA), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Avraam Papadopoulos (Trabzonspor/TUR), Nikos Karabelas (Levante UD/ESP), Michalis Bakakis (AEK Athens)

Midfielders: Yiannis Maniatis, Costas Fortounis (both Olympiakos), Alexandros Tziolis (PAOK), Andreas Samaris (Benfica/POR), Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (Verona/ITA), Panagiotis Kone (Udinese/ITA), Petros Mantalos (AEK Athens)

Forwards: Dimitris Salpingidis, Stefanos Athanasiadis (both PAOK), Charalampos Mavrias (Sunderland/ENG), Nikos Karelis (Panathinaikos), Fanis Gekas (Akhisar Belediyespor/TUR)


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