Expatica news

Hitzfeld leaves Senderos out of Swiss squad

29 August 2008

BERN — Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld left defender Philippe Senderos out of his squad for World Cup qualifying matches against Israel and Luxembourg in September.

Hitzfeld said Thursday he wanted Senderos to work on reaching full fitness with AC Milan, after joining the Italian club this week on a one-year loan from Arsenal.

The 23-year-old central defender injured his hamstring in preseason training with Arsenal and missed Hitzfeld’s first game in charge of the Swiss national team, a 4-1 friendly win against Cyprus last week.

The former Bayern Munich coach also will be without his regular captain Alex Frei for the 6 September trip to face Israel in Tel Aviv.

Frei has yet to play for his German club Borussia Dortmund since injuring a knee during the opening match of the European Championship in June. He will train with the squad, but it is doubtful he will play for the 10 September home match against Luxembourg in Zurich.

The 22-man squad includes young FC Basel strikers Eren Derdiyok and Valentin Stocker who scored Wednesday in a 2-1 victory over Portugal’s Vitoria Guimaraes to put the Swiss champion in the Champions League group stage.

Switzerland are in Group 2 of European qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The six-team group also includes Greece, Moldova and Latvia.

Diego Benaglio (Wolfsburg), Eldin Jakupovic (Grasshopper), Fabio Coltorti (Racing Santander).

Defenders: Stephan Lichtsteiner (Lazio), Stephane Grichting (Auxerre), Alain Nef (Udinese), Johan Djourou (Arsenal), Steve Von Bergen (Hertha Berlin), Christoph Spycher (Eintracht Frankfurt), Ludovic Magnin (Stuttgart).

Midfielders: Valon Behrami (West Ham), Almen Abdi (Zurich), Gelson Fernandes (Manchester City), Gokhan Inler (Udinese), Benjamin Huggel (Basel), Johan Vonlanthen (Salzburg), Tranquillo Barnetta (Bayer Leverkusen).

Forwards: Eren Derdiyok (Basel), Alex Frei (Borussia Dortmund), Blaise Nkufo (Twente), Valentin Stocker (Basel), Hakan Yakin (Al-Gharafa).

[AP / Expatica]