Football: Austria Ready for Israel
Nisbet, John, The Independent (London, England)
AUSTRIA HAVE named virtually the same squad for their rearranged World Cup qualifier in Israel, leaving out the nine players who refused to travel to Tel Aviv for the original game.
Knowing that his side must avoid losing by more than one goal to clinch the runners-up spot in Group Seven, Austrian coach Otto Baric has decided to stick with those who will be comfortable playing in Israel.
"We chose the players who were prepared to fly to Israel the last time. They are the best we have to choose from," Baric said. "And they will give their whole body, heart and mind to ensure that we perform positively," he added.
The game was originally scheduled for 7 October but postponed by Fifa until 27 October because of the crash of a Russian plane which had set off from Tel Aviv. The nine - including five from league leaders Tirol Innsbruck - cited safety concerns for not making themselves available.
Ahead of their World Cup play-offs against Ukraine next month, Germany coach Rudi Voller has reacted calmly to the spate of injuries that threaten to deprive him of the services of several key players.
Defender Jens Nowotny limped off with a knee injury during Bayer Leverkusen's Champions' League defeat in Barcelona on Wednesday night, while striker Carsten Jancker is struggling with a torn tendon in his foot. …