Swiss injury worries eased for best 23

Relieved Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld was able to name all his top players as he announced his 23-man World Cup squad on Tuesday after an injury crisis eased just in time.

Hitzfeld said that goalkeeper Diego Benaglio, defenders Philippe Senderos and Fabian Schaer and winger Xherdan Shaqiri were all over their injuries, while midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta had resumed training and should be fit.

"We've had a lot of injuries but fortunately they got injured at the right time and not too close to the World Cup," Hitzfeld told reporters.

There were no surprises as Hitzfeld, whose side face France, Ecuador and Honduras in Group E, stuck by the players who got Switzerland through World Cup qualifying with an unbeaten record.

Fulham midfielder Pajtim Kasami, whose stunning volley against Crystal Palace was one of the most spectacular English Premier League goals of the season, missed the 23 after falling out of favour with his relegated club.

"I spoke to him yesterday and explained that he has not been playing regularly enough, unfortunately (Fulham coach) Felix Magath has not picked him so much," said Hitzfeld after Kasami lost his place in the team in the second half of the season.

Bayer Leverkusen striker Eren Derdiyok also missed out due to a lack of playing time in the Bundesliga, while Real Socieded's Haris Seferovic made the cut.


Barnetta was picked for what would be his third World Cup but his Eintracht Frankfurt team mate Pirmin Schwegler missed out.

Switzerland were surprisingly among the top seeds, thanks to their position in the FIFA rankings when the World Cup draw was made, and Hitzfeld said he was aiming to make it out of the group stage in Brazil.

"I hope we can be a positive surprise and at least get to the round of 16 and take if from there," Hitzfeld said. "We will be playing in different climatic zones, so we have to play intelligently.

"In South Africa, we allowed ourselves to get provoked and that should not happen again. We must play with a lot of discipline, especially against Ecuador and Honduras."

"I'm optimistic that we are better than in 2010. We have made progress, we have a better choice of creative players, we have excellent team spirit, we have what it needs to be successful."

Goalkeepers: Diego Benaglio (VfL Wolfsburg), Yann Sommer (FC Basel), Roman Buerki (Grasshoppers)

Defenders: Johan Djourou (Hamburg SV), Michael Lang (Grasshoppers), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Ricardo Rodriguez (VfL Wolfsburg), Fabian Schaer (FC Basel), Philippe Senderos (Valencia), Steve von Bergen (Young Boys), Reto Ziegler (Sassuolo)

Midfielders: Tranquillo Barnetta (Eintracht Frankfurt), Valon Behrami (Napoli), Blerim Dzemaili (Napoli), Gelson Fernandes (Freiburg), Gokhan Inler (Napoli), Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern Munich), Valentin Stocker (FC Basel), Granit Xhaka (Borussia Moenchengladbach)

Forwards: Josip Drmic (Nuremberg), Mario Gavranovic (FC Zurich), Haris Seferovic (Real Socieded), Admir Mehmedi (Freiburg)


Marwin Hitz (Augsburg), Timm Klose (VfL Wolfsburg), Silvan Widmar (Udinese), Eren Derdiyok (Bayer Leverkusen), Fabian Frei (FC Basel), Pajtim Kasami (Fulham), Pirmin Schwegler (Eintracht Frankfurt) 

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