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Big names missing for Poland match

Trossero directs a training session in Larnaca

(Keystone)

Switzerland's national football coach, Enzo Trossero, has been forced to name a weakened side for Tuesday's friendly match against Poland.

The game, which is being played in Cyprus, was intended as preparation for Switzerland's next World Cup qualifying match in Yugoslavia, but Trossero has had to cope with a number of late withdrawals from his original squad.

While Swiss captain Ciriaco Sforza and striker David Sesa had already been ruled out through injury well in advance of Tuesday's match, Trossero learnt only this weekend that he would also have to do without defenders Raphaël Wicky and Oumar Kondé, midfielder Johann Vogel and striker Kubilay Türkyilmaz.

Wicky was forced to withdraw after injuring ankle ligaments during a training session with his club side, Atletico Madrid. But Trossero said on Monday that he had been extremely disappointed by the other absentees.

Vogel said he could not be make the trip to Cyprus because of a heavy cold, although he did manage to play for PSV Eindhoven in Sunday's vital win over Feyenoord. Türkyilmaz's withdrawal also came as a surprise, Switzerland's all-time top goalscorer reporting back pains after scoring the equaliser in Lugano's 1-1 draw with Sion.

Most frustrating of all for Trossero, though, was Kondé's refusal to accept his first ever international call-up. Faxing his decision to the Swiss coach, the 21-year-old defender said that he didn't feel ready for full international duty.

Unsurprisingly, given the build-up to Tuesday's match, Trossero's planned line-up contains a mixture of experience and experimentation.

FC Zurich keeper Marco Pascolo is set to play his 48th match for Switzerland after winning his place in the side back from an out-of-sorts Pascal Zuberbühler.

St Gallen defenders Marc Zellweger and Marco Zwyssig, with just nine international caps between them, will be joined in a back four by Liverpool's Stéphane Henchoz and Servette's Sébastien Fournier.

Faced with a surfeit of central defenders, Trossero has moved Lyon's Patrick Müller into the heart of the midfield, where he'll be partnered by Sforza's replacement, Fabio Celestini. Another French-based player, Auxerre's Alexandre Comisetti, will play on the wing opposite Basel's Mario Cantaluppi.

Grasshoppers captain Stéphane Chapuisat and St Gallen striker Giorgio Contini will be looking to combine youth and experience in the Swiss attack. Chapuisat will be making his 81st appearance for Switzerland, while Contini is set to make his debut.

Poland are likely to expose any weaknesses that emerge from Trossero's somewhat makeshift side. Unlike Switzerland, the Poles have made an impressive start to their World Cup qualifying campaign and are currently top of their group with seven points from their first three matches.

swissinfo with agencies


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