Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka and defender Manuel Akanji have both been named in Murat Yakin's Euro 2024 squad. 

Yakin named a preliminary 33-man group last month in the hopes of replicating their fine run at the last tournament, where they were beaten by Spain in the last eight after eliminating favourites France on penalties.

Notable absentees from the final party include Genk striker Andi Zaqiri, who scored nine goals in 37 appearances in 2023-24, as well as Kevin Mbabu, who has 24 caps and was part of the side that beat Didier Deschamps' men three years ago. 

Former Arsenal skipper Xhaka will lead his side for a third time at an international tournament, after helping Bayer Leverkusen win their first Bundesliga title this season. 

Manchester City's Akanji has enjoyed another fine season, helping the Citizens keep 17 clean sheets in 48 appearances in all competitions as he continues to assert himself as one of the Premier League's finest defenders. 

As part of their Euro 2024 preparation, Switzerland will host Austria in a friendly match on Saturday before travelling to Germany. 

The Swiss will kickstart their Group A campaign against Hungary in Koln on June 15, followed by an encounter with Scotland and a meeting with the hosts. 

Final Switzerland squad: Gregor Kobel (Borussia Dortmund), Yvon Mvogo (Lorient), Yann Sommer (Inter Milan), Manuel Akanji (Manchester City), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Monchengladbach), Ricardo Rodriguez (Torino), Fabian Schar (Newcastle United), Leonidas Stergiou (Stuttgart), Silvan Widmer (Mainz), Cedric Zesiger (Wolfsburg), Michel Aebischer (Bologna), Zeki Amdouni (Burnley), Kwadwo Duah (Ludogorets), Breel Embolo (Monaco), Remo Freuler (Nottingham Forest), Ardon Jashari (FC Luzern), Dan Ndoye (Bologna), Noah Okafor (AC Milan), Fabian Rieder (Rennes), Xherdan Shaqiri (Chicago Fire), Vincent Sierro (Toulouse), Renato Steffen (Lugano), Ruben Vargas (Augsburg), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Denis Zakaria (Monaco), Steven Zuber (AEK Athens).

Bayer Leverkusen's Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double was the result of players keeping faith in the team throughout what turned into a dream season, so says Xabi Alonso.

Leverkusen added the Pokal to their Bundesliga crown with a 1-0 victory over second-tier Kaiserslautern.

Granit Xhaka scored the only goal of the game as he arrowed in from distance in the 16th minute.

"In the end, to win like that meant we showed spirit, we fought for the fans for the club," said Alonso.

"It is a huge success to win the double. We will remember this in the future."

Leverkusen lost only one of 53 matches across all competitions this season, with that sole defeat coming in Wednesday's Europa League final against Atalanta, denying them a treble.

"The most important thing was the belief of the team. They were ready to battle with 10 players and I am proud of that," Alonso said.

"I need time to accept what happened this season. It was a dream season and to celebrate the last day like this here is special."

Leverkusen will be looking to build on their success next season, with Alonso having snubbed the advances of Liverpool and Bayern Munich in order to stay at the club.

Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen battled past second-tier Kaiserslautern 1-0 on Saturday to win the DFB-Pokal and secure the club's first domestic double.

Leverkusen missed out on a treble after losing 3-0 to Atalanta in the Europa League final on Wednesday, in what was astonishingly their first defeat of the season in all competitions, after a European record 51-game unbeaten run.

But at Berlin's Olympic stadium, which will host the Euro 2024 final in July, Xabi Alonso's side ensured they capped off a remarkable campaign with another piece of silverware thanks to Granit Xhaka's stunning 16th-minute strike.

The ball rolled out to the former Arsenal man around 25 yards out, and he planted an unstoppable first-time effort into the left-hand side of the net.

They controlled the pace even after they were reduced to 10 men following Odilon Kossounou's second booking a minute before half-time.

Kaiserslautern rarely threatened after the break, with Leverkusen limiting their opponents to just 0.2 expected goals.

And even though they could not add to their lead, Leverkusen were able to comfortably wrap up their second trophy of the best season in the club's history.

Data Debrief: Leverkusen join the club

Leverkusen are only the fifth different side to win the double in Germany since the Bundesliga was founded, after Bayern Munich (13 times), 1. Koln, Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund.

Xhaka's strike was a worthy winner. He became the first Swiss player to score in a DFB-Pokal final.

Bayer Leverkusen were "not interested" in maintaining their unbeaten record, according to Granit Xhaka, who acknowledged his frustrations after Wednesday's Europa League final disappointment.

Xabi Alonso's Bundesliga champions had not suffered defeat since the final game of last season against Bochum, but succumbed to their next loss in the decisive moment against Atalanta in Dublin.

Ademola Lookman stole the headlines with a remarkable hat-trick, powering Gian Piero Gasperini's team to their first title in 61 years, when Atalanta won the Coppa Italia.

A 3-0 defeat ensured Leverkusen will have to settle for, at most, a domestic double as they look to bounce back on Saturday in the DFB-Pokal final.

Yet Xhaka insisted Alonso's side never had the undefeated streak in their minds as soon as kick-off arrived at the Aviva Stadium.

"Honestly, we're not interested in the unbeaten record," the former Arsenal midfielder said to RTL. "We didn't care about that from the start.

"It's about the game and unfortunately we lost a final today. That's football.

"We said yesterday that it would be a difficult game. Compliments to Atalanta."

Leverkusen's unbeaten streak spanned nine months and 51 games this season, starting their 2023-24 campaign with a first-round DFB-Pokal thrashing of lowly Teutonia Ottensen in mid-August.

Alonso's impressive men triumphed in 42 of those matches during their historic unbeaten run across all competitions, drawing the other nine as Leverkusen coasted to their first Bundesliga title in history.

Scoring 143 goals and conceding just 39 across that dominant period, not many would have expected Gasperini's side to shutout Leverkusen and beat goalkeeper Matej Kovar three times in the process.

Leverkusen are the first league-title winners to lose the UEFA Cup/Europa League final in the same season since Benfica in 2013-14, and the first German side to do since Borussia Dortmund in 2001-02.

In single-game only finals, this was also the biggest margin of defeat for a German team since Eintracht Frankfurt lost 7-3 to Real Madrid in the 1960 European Cup, perhaps explaining Xhaka's annoyance.

Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso had bad news for David Moyes after insisting there are no lingering hangovers from their historic Bundesliga title celebrations.

Leverkusen clinched the first title in the club’s history when they beat Werder Bremen 5-0 on Sunday.

But their attention is now focused on defending a 2-0 lead in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final at West Ham.

Hammers boss Moyes admitted he hoped the Leverkusen players might have indulged in a few too many steins of German beer.

But Alonso revealed: “A few of them, probably. But not too many. We had control.

“For sure it was a moment to enjoy it. On Sunday we knew we had a chance so we took one day, in case of winning, to enjoy it.

“But from Tuesday our mind has been focused on West Ham. Now it’s the Europa League and we have a great chance to make a great season even better.

“The commitment, the way we’ve trained, give me reasons to believe we will play well tomorrow.

“We have big challenges ahead. West Ham have good players, they have recent experience of beating Freiburg. We need to put in our best performance.

“I don’t have any feeling that our mentality will be any different from the one that has given us this chance to reach the quarter-final.”

Former Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka managed to achieve what Harry Kane could not do by winning the title in his first season in Germany.

Kane’s switch from Tottenham to Bayern Munich was expected to end in Bundesliga glory but his new side have been left trailing in Leverkusen’s wake.

“Before you transfer to another country you speak with the club and the coach about the plan and the philosophy,” said Xhaka.

“But of course how we are playing is unbelievable, more than people were thinking before the season. I’m proud to be a part of this team.”

David Moyes insists West Ham still have “half a chance” to reach the Europa League semi-finals despite an agonising 2-0 first-leg defeat at Bayer Leverkusen.

The Hammers defended heroically for 83 minutes of a one-sided encounter against the Bundesliga leaders in Germany.

But late goals from substitutes Jonas Hoffman and Victor Boniface left West Ham with it all to do in next week’s second leg against a team yet to lose a match this season.

Moyes told TNT Sports: “Leverkusen have a good record of scoring late. We were aware of that. We did a great job but we played against a Champions League side and we’re not quite at that level.

“We’re still in the tie and we have half a chance in the second leg.

“We’d like to have played more attacking. The players did a brilliant job with the structure. We got done by two corner kicks. The second one was really poor from our point of view.

“It’s going to take some performance because they’re a really good team. You never know what’s going to happen. Let’s try to get one and then see if we can get two. We’ll pick ourselves up for next week and hopefully get the crowd behind us.

“This team we’re playing will be Champions League next year. We have to recognise what we’re playing against. We’ll have to do exceptionally well to get that result.”

Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianksi made a string of excellent saves to keep the hosts at bay.

The former Poland international, who turns 39 next Thursday, added: “We are very disappointed.

“We worked hard for 80 minutes and then we gave two goals away from set-pieces. Usually defending set-pieces is our strength but you have to give a lot of credit to the opposition because they pushed the whole game.

“The more disappointing thing is that we conceded the second goal. It gives them a bit more confidence. We won’t give up. We have to believe and respond in the second leg.

“I wouldn’t say we ran out of energy. Both teams did their best. In the end the second set-piece felt too easy. It felt like the striker had too much space.

“We have a really good record at home. They’re special magical nights and hopefully the second leg will be the same.”

To make matters worse, West Ham will be without Lucas Paqueta through suspension for the return leg.

Leverkusen’s former Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka said: “We knew before the game West Ham would be deep, but we showed one more time we have the quality to beat these teams.

“The second goal helps a lot for the second leg and we’ll have to be focused from the beginning.”

Granit Xhaka marked his farewell appearance for Arsenal with a brace to help the Premier League runners-up finish their fine campaign with a 5-0 thrashing of Wolves.

Xhaka is set to depart the Emirates this summer to join Bayer Leverkusen and signed off a rollercoaster seven years in north London on a high with a first-half double, although he did later miss a great chance for his hat-trick.

It failed to spoil the perfect goodbye for the previously much-maligned former Arsenal captain with Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus and Jakub Kiwior also on target to ensure Mikel Arteta’s men regrouped from their title disappointment at Nottingham Forest last weekend to secure a 26th league win of the season.

While Xhaka’s impending departure had yet to be confirmed, the huge cheer that greeted his name before kick off played into the narrative this was his final Arsenal outing.

It was the latest evidence of his own remarkable turnaround with the Emirates crowd, who he had clashed with so memorable in the winter of 2019 during a match with Crystal Palace – an incident that saw him stripped of the captaincy and on the verge of leaving before Arteta’s intervention.

Xhaka immediately set about living up to his lead role with a strong tackle on Matheus Nunes a matter of seconds into the contest.

While Nunes saw a fierce effort headed away by Gabriel Jesus during the opening exchanges, it did not take long for Arsenal and their number 34 to open the scoring after 11 minutes.

Unorthodox right-back Thomas Partey passed out wide to Jesus and his whipped cross was headed home by Xhaka from close range to begin his farewell in style.

After a group celebration with his team-mates, the Swiss international held his hands out in a thank you gesture to the home fans in the Clock End.

Three minutes later and Xhaka made it 2-0 to Arsenal.

Saka dribbled past Hugo Bueno before Martin Odegaard flicked on his pass, which Wolves captain Max Kilman sliced into the path of Xhaka, who side-footed beyond Jose Sa from six yards.

Xhaka celebrated his ninth goal of the season, the best tally of his career, by running over to embrace injured midfielder Mohamed Elneny, the only player still at the club from when he joined in 2016.

Arsenal were not ready to take their foot off the gas and Arteta watched his side move into a three-goal lead in the 27th-minute.

Odegaard and Leandro Trossard exchanged passes before the latter found Saka, who checked back inside Kilman brilliantly and curled into the corner to mark his new contract with a 15th goal this season.

It should have been 4-0 soon after.

A one-two between Saka and Odegaard on the right saw the goalscorer scuff an effort across the face of goal, but Xhaka fluffed his lines from 10 yards and sliced wide with a hat-trick at his mercy.

Wolves were able to avoid any further damage before half-time and Julen Lopetegui introduced Ruben Neves and Rayan Ait-Nouri but it failed to stem the tide.

Partey had the ball in the net for Arsenal in the 52nd minute but his joy was short-lived with the goal ruled out after Ben White had barged into Wolves goalkeeper Sa.

The Gunners faithful did not have to wait too much longer for the fourth goal.

Arsenal hurt the visitors down the left this time with Trossard able to chip in for Jesus to power home a header at the back post in the 58th minute.

All that was left was Xhaka’s farewell with the midfielder substituted to a standing ovation in the 75th minute, which was followed with chants urging him to stay.

Kiwior grabbed a fifth with 12 minutes left when he lashed home from a corner that Sa should have saved before Arsenal’s season ended to the backdrop of a partisan atmosphere at a sun-soaked Emirates with the home fans hoping this is just the beginning for Arteta’s young team.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has insisted discussions over the future of Granit Xhaka will wait until the end of the season.

Xhaka has been central to the Gunners’ title bid this campaign but is approaching the final 12 months of his deal at the Emirates Stadium.

Bayer Leverkusen are interested in taking the Switzerland international back to Germany, where the midfielder played for four years with Borussia Monchengladbach before he moved to England in 2016.

It has been a rollercoaster journey for Xhaka at Arsenal but his manager is eager to finish strongly in the final two games before he switches his attention to a number of contract scenarios.

Arteta said: “The clarity is there. He is a player that has played I think every minute since I have been the manager.

“He is an incredibly respected figure at the club. He has a great story around him with what he has achieved at the club in going through very tough moments and he is a key and very important part of us.

“Whatever happens is something we will discuss, certainly not now.”

Second-placed Arsenal have faced some criticism this week after their 3-0 defeat at home to Brighton left Manchester City on the brink of a fifth Premier League victory in six years.

Pep Guardiola’s side can defend their crown this weekend if the Gunners lose at Nottingham Forest on Saturday or if City can beat Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium a day later.

Arteta, in a thinly-veiled dig at their detractors, stated they have been up against one of the best teams ever.

“We have shown this season,” Arteta replied when asked if Arsenal can be title contenders again next season.

“We’re still there, with two games to go we can still be champions against probably the best team in Premier League history.

“For 10 months we’re still there. There’s two games still to go and we’re not going to bottle that for sure.

“What happens next season will depend on what we do, how we evolve and how we start. That prediction is very difficult to do today.”

Quizzed on the level of the squad, with Champions League football to come next term, Arteta conceded improvements will need to be made before Arsenal return to Europe’s top competition.

“At the level that we want? No. We didn’t have the capacity to do that as well with the Europa League so it’s part of that evolution,” he explained.

“We have made a lot of good steps and strong steps in that journey and we have to continue. That never ends.

“We want to be better and the rest will be better, then the margins will be higher and we have to start to live with those standards and improve and be smarter.”

Arsenal received positive news on Thursday when Aaron Ramsdale agreed a new long-term deal with the club.

It will keep Ramsdale contracted to the Gunners until the summer of 2026, the PA news agency understands.

Arteta is confident the likes of Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and William Saliba will follow.

He added: “Delighted with the news for Aaron. He fully deserves that new contract, that extension and we want to keep our talent at the club and we want to build on that.

“There are a few more who are very relevant for us to continue with that relationship. We’re working on that.

“We are trying (with Saliba). We are having conversations and we are trying to maintain the talent we have at the club as I said before, but things take time.

“You have to agree it. There are different parties involved. I think everybody’s intention is the same and hopefully we’ll find the right solution.”

Meanwhile, Oleksandr Zinchenko (calf) and Gabriel Martinelli (ankle) will not feature again this season.

“Gabi’s is a pretty nasty injury, we need to assess in the next week how long he’ll be out for,” Arteta said.

Josko Gvardiol won plenty of admirers during Croatia's run to the 2022 World Cup semi-finals.

The 21-year-old central defender is contracted until 2027, but has a hefty release clause that will become active in 2024.

As a result, clubs are likely to be competing to secure the Croatian's services in the next transfer window.

TOP STORY – CITY AND REAL PRIORITISE GVARDIOL SIGNING

Manchester City and Real Madrid have both made RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol their priority centre-back target for the next transfer window, according to 90min.

The report claims Leipzig wants £75m (€85m) for the Croatian defender, who almost joined Chelsea last off-season.

City and Real are also both in contention to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham, complicating the Gvardiol move.

The report also claims City are willing to offload Aymeric Laporte to help facilitate any move.

 

ROUND-UP

Liverpool are the favourites ahead of Manchester City in the race to sign Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount in the off-season, reports Football Insider.

Manchester United are keeping an eye on Joao Felix 's situation with the Atletico Madrid forward currently on loan at Chelsea, claims Mundo Deportivo. Chelsea have been linked with a permanent deal for the Portuguese.

– The Sun claims Leicester City are keen on re-signing Harry Maguire on loan from Manchester United amid talk he will exit Old Trafford.

Arsenal 's desire to land Dusan Vlahovic from Juventus could see the Gunners offer up Granit Xhaka and Nicolas Pepe as part of a deal, reports Calciomercatoweb.

– Fichajes claims Manchester City and Chelsea will battle it out to sign Milan full-back Theo Hernandez.

Barcelona have prioritised a move for Liverpool winger Luis Diaz in the next transfer window, according to Fichajes.

Bukayo Saka scored two and assisted another as Arsenal eased past Crystal Palace 4-1 on Sunday to move eight points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.

The Gunners were eliminated from the Europa League by Sporting CP on Thursday, but they showed no sign of a hangover against managerless London rivals Palace.

Gabriel Martinelli's 13th league goal of the season gave Arsenal the lead at Emirates Stadium and Saka, who set up that opener, added a second before half-time.

Granit Xhaka put the game out of the reach of Palace, who did pull one back through Jeffrey Schlupp, before Saka's second made certain of a sixth league win in a row.

Arsenal survived an early scare when Schlupp played in Wilfried Zaha, who cut onto his right foot and fired a low shot that hit the post in a lively start from Palace.

Joe Whitworth denied Saka at the other end, but the young keeper could not get a hand to Martinelli's impressive drilled shot across goal into the bottom-right corner.

Saka doubled Arsenal's lead shortly before half-time when exchanging passes with Ben White and coolly curling the ball away from Whitworth.

Palace were further behind 10 minutes into the second half through Xhaka's bundled finish after being played through by Leandro Trossard.

Schlupp's strike from six yards after Arsenal failed to deal with a corner gave the visiting fans something to cheer, but Saka's sharp first-time finish made certain of a routine win.

Arsenal crashed out of the Europa League after a penalty shoot-out defeat to Sporting CP in the Europa League round-of-16 at Emirates Stadium.

Granit Xhaka handed the Gunners a first-half lead but that advantage was cancelled out in spectacular style by Pote's long-range effort that sent the tie into extra time.

Adan ensured the tie went the full distance with crucial saves to deny Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Magalhaes, though Sporting finished with 10 men after Manuel Ugarte's dismissal.

Adan's heroics came again in the showdown from the spot, denying Gabriel Martinelli's attempt before Nuno Santos scored to send Sporting into the quarter-finals.

The Gunners took the lead after 19 minutes, with Xhaka playing a superb ball over the top for Martinelli to force Adan into a save but the Switzerland international was on hand to smash home the rebound.

Sporting started the second period on the front foot and found the equaliser in stunning fashion shortly after the hour mark, Pote spotting Ramsdale off his line and lobbing the England international from 46 yards out.

The Gunners stopper redeemed himself 10 minutes later, charging off his line to block Marcus Edwards' effort with his face after the former Tottenham youngster was fed through by Ricardo Esgaio.

Trossard was gifted a golden opportunity in extra time when Youssef Chermiti sloppily gave the ball away but Adan denied the Belgian and deflected his effort onto the post.

The Sporting stopper was again on hand to deny Gabriel's powerful header, the Brazilian then seeing another attempt from the following corner cleared off the line before Ugarte saw red after a second booking due to clattering into Bukayo Saka as the game headed to penalties.

With the first seven penalties of the shoot-out scored, Adan thwarted Arsenal again, diving low to his left to deny Martinelli before Nuno Santos comfortably dispatched his attempt to seal a spot in the last-eight.

Granit Xhaka has detailed his happiness at Arsenal and says the club have "something special planned" as they continue their fine campaign.

A comeback victory over West Ham on Boxing Day extended the Gunners' unbeaten run in the Premier League to nine games, with Mikel Arteta's side dropping just five points so far this term and holding a five-point lead at the top of the table.

The club have exceeded expectations with an improbable push for Premier League glory, and are reportedly eyeing further additions in the January transfer window in their bid to clinch a league title for the first time since 2004.

Xhaka has played an integral role in Arsenal's success this term, creating 22 chances and contributing four assists in 15 appearances, and has teased the club have "something special" up their sleeves.

"Of course, I'm happy that we're on a very good path at Arsenal," he told Keystone-SDA.

"I feel completely at ease and enjoy an enormous amount of confidence there. We have something special planned in London.

"We discussed everything [with Arteta about the World Cup], yes. He can read me like nobody else.

"Mikel knows what it's like to be down. He felt how hurt I was by the way I was eliminated [in Qatar]. But there are so many other challenges and tournaments. I will take those on."

The Gunners round off 2022 with a trip to face Brighton and Hove Albion, before hosting fellow high-fliers Newcastle United three days later.

Granit Xhaka admits it is a huge blow for Arsenal to lose Gabriel Jesus to injury but is confident the Gunners can compete in his absence, offering his support to likely replacement Eddie Nketiah.

Jesus suffered a knee injury in Brazil's World Cup loss to Cameroon, ruling him out of the remainder of the tournament and leading to surgery – with the expectation he will face two to three months out.

It hands Mikel Arteta a huge blow ahead of the Gunners' resumption of their Premier League title push on Boxing Day, with the former Manchester City forward quickly establishing himself as an integral member of the squad.

While Jesus faces an extended period out, Xhaka believes it is a "small injury" for him to cope with and vowed to support his teammate in his recovery.

"I spoke with him straight after the Cameroon game. We have the contact between each other, with all the players we have here in the World Cup," he told reporters.

"It's a shame because you saw in the first round of the Premier League how important he is for us. I don't know how big the injury is, maybe two or three months, I think.

"But he is a strong guy. It’s a small injury for him I think, and we will support him. He knows that we are behind him and hopefully we can get him back as quick as possible."

Jesus' injury could see Arsenal turn to Nketiah to lead the line.

Nketiah is yet to score in 12 substitute appearances in the Premier League this term but finished the last campaign strongly, earning a fresh contract after scoring five goals in the final seven top-flight matches.

Xhaka believes Nketiah has the capability to fill the void in the Gunners' attack and is "looking forward" to helping the 23-year-old in the months ahead.

"We have the option with Eddie, of course. He showed great games as well in the past and we need to support Gabi first," he added.

"We need to support Eddie as well, because he will be a big, big part of the next two or three months. But I am looking forward because we have the quality to bring Eddie there and to help him.

Arsenal resume their Premier League campaign on Boxing Day with a London derby against West Ham at the Emirates Stadium.

Granit Xhaka found himself at the centre of another controversy involving Serbia after donning a shirt with 'Jashari' on the back following Switzerland’s 3-2 win in Doha on Friday.

Xhaka produced a man of the match display as the Swiss hit back from 2-1 down to secure second place in Group G and advance to a last-16 clash with Portugal on Tuesday.

But his actions after the final whistle could attract the attention of FIFA.

In the post-match celebrations, Xhaka put on a shirt carrying the name 'Jashari'. Asked afterwards what it meant, the Arsenal midfielder claimed it was for Switzerland squad member Ardon Jashari.

However, the name carries significance in other ways with Adem Jashari a late founder of the Kosovo Liberation Army, a Kosovo Albanian separatist group that fought for independence from the former Yugoslavia.

Xhaka is of ethnic Albanian heritage linked to Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008 but has not been recognised by Serbia. 

Asked about the shirt afterwards, Xhaka said: "There’s no political background to it whatsoever.

"Ardon is part of our squad and we spend a lot of time together. I told him if we won I would wear his shirt."

Xhaka was a key figure throughout a feisty encounter. He also prompted a second-half melee that saw the Serbia bench encroach on to the pitch after making a crude gesture, thought to be in the direction of substitute goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic, whose personal life has been the subject of speculation this week.

Switzerland boss Murat Yakin said he will "wait and see" if action is taken against Xhaka.

"We will enjoy this moment, it cost us a lot of emotions and energy. It was a fair match," he said.

"Before the game a lot of people were talking about the situation but we were able to face that challenge.

"We are happy we are moving on. Everything else is speculation and we will wait and see."

On the incident involving Rajkovic, Yakin added: "What I saw was a Granit Xhaka who was focused fully on football and performed very well. I saw the players from Serbia crossing the line, and others trying to calm them down. It was a normal exchange."

It is not the first time Xhaka has been embroiled in controversy against Serbia. At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, he and Xherdan Shaqiri were fined after crossing their hands to mimic the eagle displayed on the Albanian flag in Switzerland’s 2-1 win.

Shaqiri also played his part in Switzerland's victory here, scoring the opening goal at Stadium 974, but appeared annoyed to be taken off after 69 minutes.

"No-one likes to be subbed," Yakin said. "Every player wants to play the whole game, but it’s part of my responsibility to protect players. He scored his goal and had a great assist.

"The substitutes brought great energy and I thought they did well."

The flashpoints overshadowed a wonderful game with Switzerland’s greater composure at key moments proving decisive.

Serbia coach Dragan Stojkovic praised his players but lamented the fact so many were struggling for fitness throughout their time in Qatar. He also insisted he had no intention of resigning.

He said: "We are not happy with the result but, given the problems we faced from our arrival here and the injuries we had to contend with, it was too much for us to cope with.

"The guys put up a fight but at this level that is not enough.

"As for my future, in March we start the qualifiers for the European Championship and we have a great desire to qualify."

Stojkovic claimed not to hear any of the chants that prompted an announcement over the public address system asking fans to refrain from discriminatory songs or gestures, thought to originate from sections housing Serbian supporters.

Yann Sommer's return from injury provided a boost for Switzerland as they announced their 26-man squad for the FIFA World Cup.

The Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper, who suffered an ankle injury in a DFB-Pokal defeat to Darmstadt three weeks ago, is one of four goalkeepers named in Murat Yakin’s squad, with concerns over the fitness of Sommer and Jonas Omlin.

Switzerland have named an experienced squad and will be hoping to build on their impressive performance at Euro 2020, which saw them defeat then-reigning champions France before losing on penalties to Spain in the quarter-finals.

Manchester City's Manuel Akanji and Newcastle United stalwart Fabian Schar make up an experienced centre-back combination, with Fulham’s right-back Kevin Mbabu a surprise absentee in defence.

Granit Xhaka will be looking to carry his fine early-season form with Arsenal into Qatar 2022, with the experienced midfielder selected alongside Chelsea's on-loan Denis Zakaria and new Nottingham Forest-signing Remo Freuler in the middle of the park.
 
Former Liverpool winger Xherdan Shaqiri, who now plays for Chicago Fire, will feature in his fourth FIFA World Cup and will be looking to add to his 108 caps for the national side. 

Galatasaray forward Haris Seferovic, who has 25 goals for Switzerland, provides experience to a forward line that also boasts the talents of Breel Embolo and Salzburg youngster Noah Okafor.

In a statement, coach Yakin said: "We were spoilt for choice in some positions.

"Many players have delivered convincing performances in recent weeks and months. But in the end, I had to limit myself to 26 names. I'm convinced that these 26 players can always help us to achieve our goals."

Switzerland begin their difficult Group G campaign on November 24 against Cameroon before facing familiar opposition in Brazil and Serbia, who were both part of the Swiss' 2018 World Cup group.

Switzerland Squad: Gregor Kobel (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Kohn (Salzburg), Jonas Omlin (Montpellier), Yann Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach); Manuel Akanji (Manchester City), Eray Comert (Valencia), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Monchengladbach), Edimilson Fernandes (Mainz), Ricardo Rodriguez (Torino), Fabian Schar (Newcastle), Silvan Widmer (Mainz); Michel Aebischer (Bologna), Christian Fassnacht (Young Boys), Fabian Frei (Basel), Remo Freuler (Nottingham Forest), Ardon Jashari (Lucerne), Fabian Rieder (Young Boys), Xherdan Shaqiri (Chicago Fire), Djibril Sow (Eintracht Frankfurt), Renato Steffen (Lugano), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Denis Zakaria (Chelsea); Breel Embolo (Monaco), Noah Okafor (Salzburg), Haris Seferovic (Benfica, loan to Galatasaray), Ruben Vargas (Augsburg).

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