Ireland have been handed a boost ahead of next week’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Switzerland with the news that winger Xherdan Shaqiri will not be available for the game.
Shaqiri is widely considered one of Switzerland’s key men but he will not be featuring for the away side at the Aviva next Thursday evening.
The Swiss FA broke the news on Friday afternoon outlining that Shaqiri would be absent because he has made himself unavailable for the game as he wishes to focus on his club commitments at Liverpool.
Shaqiri has yet to feature in the Premier League this campaign for Liverpool, only playing once so far this season, coming on as a substitute in the Community Shield.
The 27-year-old was praised by Jurgen Klopp for his commitment in training before the news of his absence was announced with Shaqiri clearly feeling that earning a first team spot at Anfield is the priority.
“It’s the first four weeks of the season, that’s how it is. That’s probably the hardest period for players who are not [playing].
“In training, Shaq doesn’t have to improve in any way if he can keep the level he is doing at the moment.”
“Of course he can improve like how everybody can improve, but it’s not about that – he doesn’t have to show anything special.
“We will need him, he knows that 100 per cent.”
Shaqiri may be absent from the squad but the Swiss still announced a strong panel with the likes of Fabian Schar, Ricardo Rodriguez and Granit Xhaka all familiar names.
Switzerland have taken four points from a possible two games in Group D so far and will be hoping to add to a 3-3 draw against Denmark and a 2-0 win over Georgia.