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Frei to start against Luxembourg

Alex Frei is set to make his first start for Switzerland on Wednesday


Switzerland coach Enzo Trossero has made just one change to his side ahead of Wednesday's World Cup qualifying match with Luxembourg, calling young Servette striker Alex Frei into the starting line-up for the first time.

The 21-year-old player is set to replace Basel's Hakan Yakin as strike partner for Grasshoppers Zurich veteran Stéphane Chapuisat. Apart from Frei's introduction, Trossero is sticking with the same line-up that began Saturday's World Cup qualifier in Yugoslavia.

After managing an unexpected draw in Belgrade, Switzerland will be hot favourites in Wednesday's home match against a Luxembourg side currently rooted to the bottom of the group one table. In their previous seven meetings with Luxembourg, the Swiss national side have managed six wins and a draw.

Trossero himself will have to watch Wednesday's game from the stands of Zurich's Hardturm stadium, after receiving a one-match ban from football's world governing body, FIFA.

FIFA's disciplinary committee handed down the ban after studying a report into Trossero's behaviour during the closing stages of the match in Yugoslavia. The coach was led from the bench in Belgrade after protesting against a number of refereeing decisions in the build-up to Yugoslavia's opening goal.

After hearing of his ban on Tuesday, Trossero said that the team would not be affected. He added that his assistant coach and fellow Argentinian, Daniel Romeo, will deputise for him on the bench.

"Romeo has my full confidence," Trossero insisted. "He knows my ideas and outlook. We'll also go over everything before the match. I don't see any handicap for the team."

On Tuesday, Switzerland's under-21 team showed the way to the senior side with a convincing 6-0 win over Luxembourg. The first goal came from Ricardo Cabanas in the 14th minute, with Greco following just four minutes later. Two more goals came in the first half, with Gygax making it 3-0 in the 24th minute and Zanni adding another in the 35th.

As if victory had not yet been sealed, Cabanas returned to the goal area in the last minute of the first half and slammed in a penalty kick to make it 5-0 and wipe out any chances of a Luxembourg comeback in the second half.

With the match already decided, Switzerland had only to prevent Luxembourg from stealing a goal. Cabanas had by now set his sights on a hat trick and saw his chance right on the whistle, giving his team one final goal in the 91st minute.

Switzerland team: Marco Pascolo (FC Zurich), Marc Zellweger (St Gallen), Stephane Henchoz (Liverpool), Patrick Muller (Lyon), Yvan Quentin (FC Zurich), Johann Lonfat (Servette), Johann Vogel (PSV Eindhoven), Sebastien Fournier (Servette), Massimo Lombardo (Lausanne), Alex Frei (Servette), Stephane Chapuisat (Grasshoppers Zurich)

swissinfo with agencies


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