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James returns to Colombia squad

Colombia welcome back James Rodriguez for World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Argentina after the Real Madrid midfielder was named in Jose Pekerman’s squad.

James has not played for club or country since suffering a muscle injury in Colombia’s friendly against Peru in September but the vice-captain has been included in Pekerman’s 26-man roster.

The 24-year-old, who missed last month’s 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Peru and the 3-0 loss in Uruguay, was an unused sub in Madrid’s Champions League fixture midweek but is expected to feature against 2015 Copa America champions Chile on November 12 and at home to Argentina five days later.

Colombia will be without Chelsea striker Radamel Falcao for the two qualifiers due to a muscular injury, but uncapped Olympiacos frontman Felipe Pardo gets a chance.

There are five other debutants in the squad, with Daniel Torres, Helibelton Palacios, Bernardo Espinosa, Francisco Meza and Cristiano Bonillo included.

Colombia are sixth in the CONMEBOL section of qualifying on three points, a win adrift of Uruguay, Ecuador and Chile after two matches.

Squad in full:  Cristian Bonilla (La Equidad) David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (Atletico Nacional); Santiago Arias (PSV), Bernardo Espinosa (Sporting Gijon), Frank Fabra (Medellin), Francisco Meza (Santa Fe), Johan Mojica (Real Valladolid), Jeison Murillo (Inter), Helibelton Palacios (Deportivo Cali), Cristian Zapata (AC Milan); Carlos Carbonero (Sampdoria), Edwin Cardona (Monterrey), Fredy Guarin (Inter), Alexander Mejia (Atletico Nacional), Juan Fernando Quintero (Rennes), James Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Carlos Sanchez (Aston Villa), Daniel Torres (Medellin), Macnelly Torres (Atletico Nacional); Carlos Bacca (AC Milan), Teofilo Gutierrez (Sporting CP), Jackson Martinez (Atletico Madrid), Luis Fernando Muriel (Sampdoria), Felipe Pardo (Olympiacos) Adrian Ramos (Borussia Dortmund)

Sat 7 Nov, 2015
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