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Trossero names makeshift side for Sweden game

Trossero (right) is set to give Leonard Thurre (left) his third international cap Keystone

Switzerland football coach Enzo Trossero has been forced to make several key changes to his starting line-up for Wednesday's friendly international against Sweden.

The game in Geneva is meant to give Switzerland’s Argentinian coach a chance to reappraise his squad ahead of the next two World Cup qualifying matches in June. However, a number of late withdrawals and injuries have again stretched the Swiss resources.

As well as long-term absentees Alexandre Comisetti and David Sesa, Trossero is having to do without Sébastien Fournier, Stéphane Chapuisat, Hakan Yakin, Mario Cantaluppi and Patrick Müller, all of whom have recently picked up injuries.

The eagerly anticipated return of regular Swiss captain Ciriaco Sforza has also been put on hold after the Bayern Munich midfielder failed a late fitness test. Trossero has also agreed to leave Stéphane Henchoz out of his starting line-up in Geneva due to the defender’s heavy schedule with his English club side, Liverpool.

Marc Zellweger and his former St Gallen team-mate Giuseppe Mazzarelli come into central defence to replace Henchoz and Müller. In midfield Trossero is fortunate to at least have a fit-again Raphaël Wicky to fill the gap left by Fournier.

The most inexperienced section of the Swiss team will be in attack where Servette strikers Alex Frei and Leonard Thurre are set to make only their third appearance each for the national side.

The 21-year-old Frei will be hoping to build on his fantastic performance in last month’s World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg, in which he scored a hat-trick in his first full international match.

Thurre is still looking for his first goal at international level, but the 23-year-old striker has enjoyed a rich vein of form in the Swiss league recently, scoring four goals in his last four matches.

Although Sweden are currently placed more than 30 positions above Switzerland in FIFA’s world ranking system, the Swiss have a reasonably successful record from the two sides’ previous encounters.

Switzerland have won 11 and lost nine of their 26 games against the Swedes. At home the Swiss have won seven times in 12 matches, losing just once in 1976.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR