herald

Thursday 17 October 2019

Goals a worry for Georgia's 'Irish curse'

Giorgi Kvilitaia
Giorgi Kvilitaia

Georgia manager Vladimir Weiss will hope to find goals from across his squad as he has named just one senior striker in his squad for the Euro 2020 clash with Ireland next week.

Weiss, who was last month linked with a move to Manchester United's Europa League opponents Astana but remained on with the Georgian FA, has cast his net wide in a bid to find a squad capable of beating Ireland for the first time and ending what Georgian fans call "the Irish curse".

His 24-man squad contains players who play club football in 17 different countries, from the USA to Kazakhstan.

Belgian-based striker Giorgi Kvilitaia is the only senior forward in his squad but USA export Valeri Qazaishvili, who scored for Georgia in a 1-1 draw in the last meeting in Tbilisi, has netted 10 times in 42 games from midfield.

Goalkeepers: Giorgi Loria (Anorthosis, Cyprus), Giorgi Makaridze (Vitoria Setubal, Portugal), Lazar Kupatadze (Saburtalo).

Defenders: Otar Kakabadze (Lucerne), Guram Kashia (San Jose Earthquakes USA), Solomon Kvirkvelia (Lokomotiv Moscow),  Davit Khocholava (Shakhtar Donetsk), Gia Grigalava (Arsenal Tula), Lasha Dvali (Ferencvaros), Jemal Tabidze (Ufa, Russia)

Midfielders: Jaba Kankava (Tobol, Kazakhstan), Otar Kiteishvili (Sturm Graz), Valerian Gvilia  (Legia Warsaw), Saba Lobzhanidze  (Randers, Denmark), Vakhtang Chanturishvili (Zlín, Czech Republic), Giorgi Aburjania (FC Twente), Jano Ananidze (Spartak Moscow), Tornike Okriashvili, Murtaz Daushvili (both Anorthosis), Levan Shengelia (Konyaspor, Turkey), Giorgi Kharaishvili (Gothenburg), Valeri Qazaishvili (San Jose Earthquakes).

Forwards: George Kvilitaia (Gent), Elguja Lobjanidze (Taraz, Kazakhstan)

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