Stephan Lichtsteiner left out of Switzerland’s Nations League squad

Screenshot 2019-05-27 at 16.08.38
(Nick Potts/PA via The Guardian)

UPDATE, 30 MAY: Since this article was published, there has been one change to the squad. Forward Breel Embolo has pulled out through injury, and he has been replaced by Basel’s 19-year-old forward Noah Okafor. Read more here (Deutsch).

Captain Stephan Lichtsteiner has been left out of the Switzerland squad, which was named for the upcoming Nations League Finals.

Vladimir Petković’s 23-man squad for next month’s finals was announced on Monday afternoon, which does not include Lichtsteiner. The squad has been selected to face Portugal on 5 June, as well as for the third place playoff or the final.

While there were not many surprises, the absence of captain Lichtsteiner is notable. The 34-year-old made 23 appearances in his debut season at Arsenal, though only made ten league starts. The veteran right-back has struggled for gametime this season, leading to his exclusion from the national team squad.

Screenshot 2019-05-27 at 15.56.59.png
(Monika Majer/Getty Images)

Lichtsteiner is one of Switzerland’s most decorated players, having earned 108 caps since his debut in 2006. Despite captaining the Schweizer Nati at last summer’s World Cup, he has since heavily fallen out of favour under Petković.

Having played 14 consecutive games for Switzerland from 2017 up to and including the World Cup, Lichtsteiner has only featured twice in the eight fixtures since the World Cup campaign. He was first left on the bench for their 6-0 win over Iceland in September, before failing to make the squad in October and November.

It may well mark the end of Lichtsteiner’s Switzerland career, as he fails to make the squad for the third time in the last seven months. Granit Xhaka will once again captain the Schweizer Nati, as he has regularly done in Lichtsteiner’s absence.

Screen Shot 2018-09-07 at 13.45.19

 

Elsewhere, Petković has made four other changes from his previously selected squad. After missing out in March through injury, inform Haris Seferović returns to the Swiss squad. The Benfica talisman has been in outstanding form, scoring 23 goals in 29 appearances to help his side to the Portuguese league title.

Josip Drmić also returns to the national team, called up for the first time since the World Cup. Seferović and Drmić come in for Mario Gavranović and Admir Mehmedi, as Petković reshuffles his attacking options for the Nations League Finals.

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(EPA-EFE)

Edimilson Fernandes and François Moubandje also earn callups for the first time in six months, as they replace Christian Fassnacht and Timm Klose respectively. They return to the Swiss side after missing the EURO 2020 qualifiers, last featuring against Belgium in November.

Switzerland will soon travel to Portugal, as they prepare to face the hosts on 5 June. The Schweizer Nati will then return to action four days later, as they play the Netherlands or England in the third place playoff or Nations League Final on 9 June.

SWITZERLAND SQUAD IN FULL

Goalkeepers Yann Sommer; Yvon Mvogo; Jonas Omlin
Defenders Ricardo Rodríguez; Loris Benito; Fabian Schär; Manuel Akanji; Michael Lang; Nico Elvedi; Kevin Mbabu; François Moubandje
Midfielders Granit Xhaka; Edimilson Fernandes; Denis Zakaria; Remo Freuler; Xherdan Shaqiri; Djibril Sow; Renato Steffen; Steven Zuber
Forwards Haris Seferović; Noah Okafor; Albian Ajeti; Josip Drmić

Screenshot 2019-03-23 at 16.06.17


READ MORE

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Read more of my Switzerland national team articles here

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