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Nikolaidis, Kasapis bury the hatchet for England game

Two players who quit the Greek national soccer team two years ago were recalled by coach Otto Rehhagel yesterday for the Group Nine World-Cup qualifier on October 6 against England at Old Trafford. AEK Athens striker Demis Nikolaidis and teammate Michalis Kasapis return for the match which will see England qualify for the finals should they beat Greece, which is languishing in fourth place in the group, just six points away from a possible 21. Rehhagel also gave a first call-up to Panathinaikos defender Sotiris Kyrgiakos, who has been performing well and has led his team to a pair of Champions League shutouts so far. However, Rehhagel left out Inter Milan’s Grigoris Giorgatos as a result of a row they had during the 5-1 defeat by Finland last month. One of the players selected by Rehhagel, defender Giourkas Seitaridis, was injured last night during Panathinaikos’s last training session ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League game against Arsenal. He will probably miss tomorrow’s game and is doubtful for the match against England. The players Rehhagel selected are the following: Goalkeepers: Dimitris Eleftheropoulos (Olympiakos), Antonis Nikopolidis (Panathinaikos). Defenders: Angelos Basinas, Giourkas Seitaridis, Sotiris Kyrgiakos, Panayiotis Fyssas and Leonidas Vokolos (all Panathinaikos), Stelios Venetidis and Christos Patsatzoglou (Olympiakos), Nikos Dabizas (Newcastle United), Michalis Kasapis (AEK). Midfield: Giorgos Karagounis (Panathinaikos), Giorgos Giorgiadis and Pandelis Constantinidis (PAOK Salonica), Vassilis Lakis, Andreas Zikos and Theodoros Zagorakis (AEK), Zisis Vryzas (Perugia). Strikers: Angelos Haristeas (Aris Salonica), Costas Constantinidis (Hertha Berlin), Nikos Machlas (Ajax Amsterdam), Demis Nikolaidis (AEK). (AFP/Kathimerini)