WORLD CUP: European Qualifying preview and squads – Group E

Europe GroupE

Switzerland is in pole position and look sure to stay there unless Cyprus can cause an upset. Slovenia and Iceland face each other but are in need of claiming three points to stay in the chase. Norway have an easier tie at home against Albania and the race for the automatic qualifying berth is thus likely to be both enthralling and hard-fought, with the Swiss knowing they have little margin for error and the Norwegians ready to pounce on the slightest stumble by their rivals.

Norway v Albania, Friday 18:00

 

NORWAY – Goalkeepers: Rune Almenning Jarstein (Viking), Espen Pettersen (Molde)

Defenders: Tom Hogli (Club Brugge), Tore Reginiussen (Rosenborg), Vadim Demidov (Celta Vigo), Vegar Eggen Hedenstad (Freiburg), Brede Hangeland (Fulham), John Arne Riise (Fulham), Vegard Forren (Southampton), Jonathan Parr (Crystal Palace)

Midfielders: Markus Henriksen (AZ Alkmaar),  Havard Nordtveit (Borussia Monchengladbach), Magnus Wolff Eikrem (Molde), Christian Grindheim (Valerenga), Valon Berisha (Red Bull Salzburg), Ruben Yttergard Jenssen (Trosmo)

Strikers: Joshua King (Blackburn Rovers), Mohamed Abdellaoui (Hannover 96), Tarik Elyounoussi (Rosenborg), Erik Huseklepp (SK Brann), Alexander Soderlund (Haugesund)

 

ALBANIA – Goalkeepers: Etrit Berisha (Kalmar FF), Orges Shehi (Skenderbeu Korce), Samir Ujkani (Chievo)

Defenders: Elseid Hysaj (Empoli), Ansi Agolli (Qarabag), Mergim Mavraj (Greuther Furth), Debatik Curri (Genclerbirligi), Armend Dallku (Vorskla), Andi Lila (PAS Giannina)

Midfielders: Lorik Cana (Lazio), Odise Roshi (FSV Frankfurt), Migjen Basha (Torino), Alban Meha (SC Paderborn), Armando Vajushi (Litex Lovech), Ervin Bulku (Sepahan), Sabjen Lilaj (Skenderbeu Korce), Jahmir Hyka (Lucerne), Valdet Rama (Real Valladolid), Emiljano Vila (PAS Giannina), Franc Veliu (KS Flamurtari), Tefik Osmani (Teuta Durres)

Strikers: Edgar Cani (Catania), Erjon Bogdani (Siena), Hamdi Salihi (Jiangsu Sainty), Armando Sadiku (FC Lugano)

 

Slovenia v Iceland, Friday 17:00

 

SLOVENIA – Goalkeepers: Samir Handanovic (Inter Milan), Jan Oblak (Rio Ave), Jasmin Handanovic (NK Maribor)
Defenders: Miso Brecko (Köln), Cesar Bostjan (Chievo), Branko Iljic (Anorthosis Famagusta), Bojan Jokic (Chievo), Dominik Maroh (Köln), Aleksander Rajcevic (NK Maribor), Andraz Struna (KS Cracovia), Marko Suler (Legia Warsaw)
Midfielders: Armin Bacinovic (Hellas Verona), Goran Cvijanovic (NK Maribor), Kevin Kampl (Red Bull Salzburg), Rene Krhin (Bologna), Jasmin Kurtic (Palermo), Ales Mertelj (NK Maribor)
Strikers: Valter Birsa (Torino), Zlatko Dedic (Bochum), Dejan Lazarevic (Modena), Zlatan Ljubijankic (Omiya Ardija), Tim Matavz (PSV Eindhoven), Milivoje Novakovic (Omiya Ardija)

 

ICELAND – Goalkeepers: Gunnleifur Gunnleifsson (Breiðablik), Hannes Þór Halldórsson (KR), Ögmundur Kristinsson (Fram)

Defenders: Birkir Már Sævarsson (Brann), Ragnar Sigurðsson (FC Copenhagen), Sölvi Geir Ottesen Jónsson (FC Copenhagen), Arnór Sveinn Aðalsteinsson (Hönefoss), Ari Freyr Skúlason (GIF Sundsvall), Hallgrímur Jónasson (Sönderjyske), Hólmar Örn Eyjólfsson (Bochum)

Midfielders: Emil Hallfreðsson (Hellas Verona), Aron Einar Gunnarsson (Cardiff City), Helgi Valur Daníelsson (AIK), Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson (AZ Alkmaar), Birkir Bjarnason (Pescara), Ólafur Ingi Skúlason (Zulte Waregem), Gylfi Þór Sigurðsson (Tottenham Hotspur)

Strikers: Eiður Smári Guðjohnsen (Club Brugge), Kolbeinn Sigþórsson (Ajax), Alfreð Finnbogason (Heerenveen)

 

Cyprus v Switzerland, Saturday 16:30

 

Fulham’s Philippe Senderos and Siena’s Innocent Emeghara have been recalled to the Swiss squad for the match in Cyprus. Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said Senderos justified his selection by playing each match in central defence for Fulham over the past month. Emeghara benefited from his transfer to Siena, where he has scored regularly after a January move from Lorient. Hitzfeld’s squad is without first-choice goalkeeper Diego Benaglio, who is suspended, and in a twist, Hitzfeld is also suspended. He will serve the first of a two-match ban imposed by FIFA for making an offensive gesture toward the referee during a 1-1 draw against Norway last October. Switzerland leads its group by three points after playing four of 10 matches.

CYPRUS – Goalkeepers: Antonis Giorgallidis (Alki), Tasos Kissas (APOEL), Christakis Mastrou (Anorthosis)

Defenders: Paraskevas Christou (CS Pandurii Târgu Jiu), Junior Junior (AEL Limassol), Elias Charalambous (Sporting Club Vaslui), George Merkis (Apollon), Stelios Parpas (AEL Limassol), Angelis Charalampous (Apollon), Valentinos Sielis (Anorthosis), Jason Demetriou (AEK Larnaca), Kostakis Artymatas (Enosis Neon Paralimni)

Midfielders: Christakis Maragkos (AEK Larnaca), Constantinos Charalambides (APOEL), Konstantinos Makridis (Metallurg Donetsk), Anthos Solomou (APOEL), Sinisa Dobrasinovic (Veria), Nektarios Alexandrou (APOEL), Andreas Avraam (Anorthosis), Vincent Laban (Anorthosis), Marios Nikolaou (AEL Limassol)

Strikers: Efstathios Aloneftis (APOEL), Demitris Christofi (Omonia), Michael Contsantinou, Nestor Mytidis (AEK Larnaca), Georgios Vasiliou (Apollon), George Efrem (Omonia)

 

SWITZERLAND – Goalkeepers: Yann Sommer (FC Basel), Marco Woelfli (Young Boys)

Defenders: Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Johan Djourou (Hannover), Steve von Bergen (Palermo), Philippe Senderos (Fulham), Timm Klose (Nuremberg), Ricardo Rodriguez (Wolfsburg), Reto Ziegler (Fenerbahce)

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

Strikers: Eren Derdiyok (Hoffenheim), Innocent Emeghara (Siena), Admir Mehmedi (Dynamo Kiev), Haris Seferovic (Novara)

WillBurns

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