Stephan Lichtsteiner earns first Switzerland callup in seven months

LICHTSTEINER
(Getty Images)

Stephan Lichtsteiner has regained his spot in the latest Switzerland squad, which was named ahead of October’s EURO 2020 qualifiers.

The Switzerland captain, who has not played for the national team in seven months, is one of four returning players to Vladimir Petković’s squad. His last appearance came back in March, as he played the full 90 minutes in their 2-0 win over Georgia in Tbilisi.

The 23-man squad was named on Friday, ahead of two crucial qualifiers for the Swiss. They face the Republic of Ireland and Denmark next week, with all three teams battling it out at the top of Group D for the two automatic qualification spots.

It looks like Lichtsteiner is back for good, after joining Bundesliga side Augsburg on a free transfer this summer. Since arriving in southern Germany, the right-back has started four out of five games this season, only missing out on one occasion through suspension.

Lichtsteiner
(Sven Simon/imago images)

Lichtsteiner spent last season at Arsenal, where he managed 23 appearances under Unai Emery. However, his sporadic gametime and lack of consistency saw him lose his place in the national team setup, with Wolfsburg starlet Kevin Mbabu replacing him at right-back.

He is a welcome return to the squad, having only played two of Switzerland’s last 13 fixtures. It will be interesting to see whether he will reassume captaincy upon his return, with Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka taking over as captain in his absence.

Lichtsteiner is by far the most decorated player in the current Switzerland squad, as the only player with over a century of caps. The 35 year-old has earned 105 caps since his debut in 2006, with only Heinz Hermann and Alain Geiger earning more caps for the Schweizer Nati.

The veteran defender is one of four changes from last month’s squad, with Werder Bremen’s Michael Lang replacing François Moubandje at the back. Djibril Sow and Josip Drmić of Eintracht Frankfurt and Norwich City respectively also return, as the trio earn their first callups since the Nations League Finals.

Shaqiri.jpg
(TF-Images/Getty Images)

Xherdan Shaqiri misses out for the second time in a row, having abstained from the squad last month. This time he is ruled out through injury, as the Liverpool forward will have missed six of Switzerland’s eight fixtures this calendar year.

Steven Zuber and Timm Klose also continue to miss out due to injury, with the latter out for the rest of the season after sustaining knee ligament damage. Silvan Widmer, Christian Fassnacht and Albian Ajeti all lose their places in the squad, with Ajeti only managing two appearances all season with West Ham.

Switzerland first travel up to Copenhagen, as they meet Denmark on 12th October. The Schweizer Nati return home three days later, when they entertain the Republic of Ireland in Geneva on 15th October.

SWITZERLAND SQUAD IN FULL

Goalkeepers Yann Sommer; Yvon Mvogo; Jonas Omlin
Defenders Ricardo Rodríguez; Loris Benito; Manuel Akanji; Fabian Schär; Nico Elvedi; Eray Cömert; Stephan Lichtsteiner; Kevin Mbabu; Michael Lang
Midfielders Granit Xhaka; Denis Zakaria; Edimilson Fernandes; Remo Freuler; Admir Mehmedi; Djibril Sow; Renato Steffen
Forwards Breel Embolo; Haris Seferović; Mario Gavranović; Josip Drmić
SUI-GIB
(Anthony Anex/Keystone)

READ MORE

Read more of my Switzerland national team articles here

Switzerland 4-0 Gibraltar: Schweizer Nati return to winning ways

Who could win the next General Election?

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Switzerland: Nati earn hard-fought point in Dublin


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