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Greece’s preparations for their upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Luxembourg on September 6 and Latvia on September 10 have been dealt a blow, with Eintracht Frankfurt captain Ioannis Amanatidis being ruled out of the matches through injury.

Despite being initially called up to manager Otto Rehhagel’s 22-man squad and scoring a the opening goal in his side’s 2-2 draw away at Wolfsburg at the weekend, the striker picked up an injury in the same match and has now been officially ruled out of the start of his country’s qualifying campaign.

The withdrawal of Amanatidis from the squad was announced via an official statement on the website of the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO).

Rehhagel will be thankful, however, that he still has a plethora of striking options left at his disposal for the crucial opening fixtures, including the likes of Celtic striker Giorgios Samaras, Eintracht Frankfurt man Nikos Lyberopoulos, Theofanis Gekas of Bayer Leverkusen, Angelos Charisteas of FC Nuremberg and Dimitris Salpiggidis of Panathinaikos.

Chris Paraskevas

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