UPDATE, MONDAY 11TH NOVEMBER: A few hours after I wrote and published this piece, there was another change to the squad. Michel Aebischer has replaced Remo Freuler. This has been mentioned and added to the original piece.
Fabian Schär has been ruled out of Switzerland’s final EURO 2020 qualifiers, as he misses out on the latest squad.
The Newcastle defender is out for two weeks with a knee injury, which he picked up in the Magpies’ 1-0 defeat at Chelsea in October. He hasn’t played in their last three league games, with Steve Bruce’s side rising up to 13th in the Premier League since.
Schär has been one of Switzerland’s key players throughout qualifying, playing five out of the six qualifiers so far. The only game he missed was the 3-3 draw with Denmark in March, after he was concussed three days earlier in the 2-0 win over Georgia.
The 27-year-old has a goal and an assist to his name, scoring a sumptuous goal against the Republic of Ireland in September. His injury means he is out for Switzerland’s final two qualifiers, as they host Georgia on Friday and travel to Gibraltar next Monday.
The Schweizer Nati sit third in Group D with two games to play, and will qualify for EURO 2020 if they win both. They won both of the reverse fixtures earlier on this year, beating Georgia 2-0 in Tbilisi and cruising to a 4-0 win over Gibraltar in Sion.
With Schär unavailable, Dinamo Zagreb left-back François Moubandje comes in to replace him. The 29-year-old returns to Petković’s squad after missing out last month, as Moubandje is one of six changes from the manager’s October selection.
Forwards Breel Embolo and Admir Mehmedi both drop out of the squad, after picking up respective thigh injuries. BSC Young Boys’ Christian Fassnacht and Augsburg’s Ruben Vargas return to replace them, with the latter hoping to earn his first full cap for Switzerland.
In a late change, St. Gallen forward Cedric Itten has been called up to replace the injured Josip Drmic, who has been ruled out with a hamstring injury picked up in Norwich’s 2-0 defeat to Watford. It is a first callup to the senior team for Itten, who has seven goals in 15 appearances this season for the Espen.
There was another late change to the squad, as Remo Freuler pulled out of the squad on Monday night thanks to a thigh problem. He has been replaced by Michel Aebischer of BSC Young Boys, who like Itten earns his first callup to the senior side.
Elsewhere, Mario Gavranović is out with an adductor problem and is replaced by Albian Ajeti of West Ham. The Hammers striker is yet to score his first goal for the east London club, with no goals in his limited six appearances so far.
Xherdan Shaqiri, Steven Zuber and Timm Klose remain sidelined and unavailable, as they have been for months. Stephan Lichtsteiner keeps his place in the 23-man squad, as does Granit Xhaka, following a controversial few weeks for the vice-captain at his club Arsenal.
Switzerland play their final home game of the year on Friday, as they welcome Georgia to the kybunpark in St. Gallen. The Schweizer Nati then conclude their year on 18th November, as they face Gibraltar to finish off their EURO 2020 qualifying campaign.
SWITZERLAND SQUAD IN FULL
|Goalkeepers||Yann Sommer; Yvon Mvogo; Jonas Omlin|
|Defenders||Ricardo Rodríguez; François Moubandje; Loris Benito; Manuel Akanji; Nico Elvedi; Eray Cömert; Stephan Lichtsteiner; Kevin Mbabu; Michael Lang|
|Midfielders||Granit Xhaka; Denis Zakaria; Edimilson Fernandes; Michel Aebischer; Christian Fassnacht; Djibril Sow; Renato Steffen; Ruben Vargas|
|Forwards||Haris Seferović; Albian Ajeti; Cedric Itten|