Khizanishvili Returns to Georgia Squad to Face Scots and Irish

Late on Sunday night, Georgian head coach Kakha Tskhadadze announced his squad for the forthcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against Scotland and Ireland, with the addition of 33-year-old defender Zurab Khizanishvili the most eye-catching selection.

Capped 93 times by his country, Khizanishvili last played for Georgia in a 1-0 defeat to Kazakhstan in August 2013.

However, an impressive start to the season in Azerbaijan with Inter Baku, where head coach Tskhadadze managed for five years before taking the Georgia hotseat, has earned the veteran a recall.

Meanwhile, midfielder Nika Kvekveskiri, club teammate of Khizanishvili at Inter Baku, earns a first call-up to the full national side, having captained the under-21s previously.

Dinamo Tbilisi's right-back Otar Kakabadze and central midfielder Mate Tsintsadze, and Dila Gori's left-back Giorgi Navalovski are the only Georgia-based players in the squad.

There is also a return for goalkeeper Giorgi Makaridze, currently of Feirense in Portugal. He kept a clean sheet as a teenager the last time Georgia played Scotland in Tbilisi in 2007, when the hosts won 2-0.

One of the goalscorers that night, Levan Mchedlidze also makes the squad and is favourite to start up front.

Georgia squad to play Scotland (Tbilisi, Sept 4) and Ireland (Dublin, Sept 7):

Goalkeepers: Nukri Revishvili, Giorgi Loria, Giorgi Makaridze.

Defenders: Giorgi Navalovski, Giorgi Popkhadze, Alexander Amisulashvili, Zurab Khizanishvili, Guram Kashia, Solomon Kverkvelia, Ucha Lobjanidze, Otar Kakabadze.

Midfielders: Murtaz Daushvili, Jaba Kankava, Jano Ananidze, Sandro Kobakhidze, Tornike Okriashvili, Nika Kvekveskiri, Giorgi Merebashvili, Valeri Kazaishvili, Levan Kenia, Mate Tsintsadze.

Forwards: Levan Mchedlidze, Bachana Tskhadadze, Mate Vatsadze.

Alastair Watt

31 August 2015 10:08