Star duo back after injuries

Striker Angelos Charisteas and midfielder Stelios Giannakopoulos were called up yesterday for Greece’s Euro 2008 Group C qualifiers against Bosnia and Turkey next month, after returning from injury. Bolton’s Giannakopoulos made a goal-scoring return to action, netting the extra-time decider in the League Cup tie against Fulham on Wednesday. Both experienced players are needed as the European champions seek to qualify for only their third European championships. After winning Euro 2004, Greece failed to qualify for last year’s World Cup finals but currently has a firm grasp on a berth at next summer’s Euro 2008 finals to be co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland. Greece leads seven-team Group C with 19 points from eight games, two more than Turkey and Norway. The Norwegians have played an additional game, as has Bosnia-Herzegovina, realistically the group’s only other contender for a finals spot, currently fourth with 13 points from nine games. Coach Otto Rehhagel called up 10 foreign-based players. His full squad will be announced next week. Greece play Bosnia in Athens on October 13 and travel to Turkey four days later. Foreign-based squad: Defenders: Yourkas Seitaridis (Atletico Madrid), Michalis Kapsis (APOEL), Sotiris Kyrgiakos (Eintracht Frankfurt); Midfielders: Costas Katsouranis (Benfica), Angelos Basinas (Mallorca), Stelios Giannakopoulos (Bolton); Strikers: Fanis Gekas (Bayer Leverkusen), Giorgos Samaras (Manchester City), Yannis Amanatidis (Eintracht Frankfurt), Angelos Charisteas (Nuremberg). (Reuters/Kathimerini)

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