Shaqiri on the bench for the clash of the Swiss in Prague

ZURICH: Key Swiss striker Xherdan Shaqiri will be dropped from the starting line-up for his country’s Nations League opener against the Czech Republic in Prague on Thursday, coach Murat Yakin has said.

The 30-year-old, who had 102 caps for Switzerland, joined the Swiss squad on Tuesday after playing for the Chicago Fire in Major League Soccer over the weekend.

“He hasn’t trained with the team yet, it wouldn’t really make sense to start him on Thursday. It’s clear that when he’s ready he will be important. But on Thursday he will be on the bench, Yakin said at a press conference on Wednesday.

The rest of the squad are coming out of a six-day training camp ahead of a grueling League A schedule with four matches in 10 days, with a trip to Portugal to follow Thursday’s game and then home matches against Barcelona. Spain on June 9 and Portugal three days. later.

“I didn’t see any fatigue in the players, there was good intensity. The atmosphere is good. And now I want to see them give their all in really tough matches,” added Yakin.

But Yakin said while they would take the Nations League seriously, the fringe players would also have the chance to make an impression ahead of November’s World Cup, where the Swiss are drawn in Group G against Brazil. , Cameroon and Serbia.

“It will not only be result-oriented, other players will also get their chance. Time is running out until November,” added the coach.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

Berta D. Wells