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Tami puts faith in experienced Switzerland party

Six players capped at senior level are included in the Switzerland squad for the U21 finals by Pierluigi Tami, who is "aiming to reach the semis and get our ticket to the Olympics".

Xherdan Shaqiri (right) in action for Basel in the UEFA Champions League
Xherdan Shaqiri (right) in action for Basel in the UEFA Champions League ©Getty Images

Switzerland coach Pierluigi Tami has named a squad boasting considerable senior international experience for the forthcoming UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals.

Six of the party – Xherdan Shaqiri (ten caps), François Affolter (four), Moreno Costanzo (four), Nassim Ben Khalifa (two), Mario Gavranović (one) and Jonathan Rossini (one) – have appeared for the full national team.

And in addition to Shaqiri's call-up for Saturday's UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England, three of his U21 colleagues also figure in Ottmar Hitzfeld's senior selection for the game at Wembley: the uncapped trio of FC Basel 1893 midfielder Granit Xhaka, Grasshopper-Club forward Innocent Emeghara and FC Zürich striker Admir Mehmedi.

Switzerland last competed in the U21 finals seven years ago, when a team featuring the likes of Tranquillo Barnetta, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Philippe Senderos were eliminated in the group stage. This time, better things are expected. "We want to reach the semis and get our ticket to the Olympics," said Tami. "This has to be our goal, even though a team like Switzerland are never favourites in a group."

Switzerland squad
Goalkeepers: Benjamin Siegrist (Aston Villa FC), Kevin Fickentscher (FC Sion), Yann Sommer (FC Basel 1893).

Defenders: François Affolter (BSC Young Boys), Gaetano Berardi (Brescia Calcio), Fabio Daprelà (Brescia Calcio), Timm Klose (FC Thun), Jonathan Rossini (US Sassuolo Calcio), Philippe Koch (FC Zürich), Daniel Pavlovic (Grasshopper-Club).

Midfielders: Amir Abrashi (Grasshopper-Club), Moreno Costanzo (BSC Young Boys), Frank Feltscher (AC Bellinzona), Fabian Frei (FC St Gallen), Xavier Hochstrasser (Calcio Padova), Pajtim Kasami (US Città di Palermo), Fabian Lustenberger (Hertha BSC Berlin), Xherdan Shaqiri (FC Basel 1893), Granit Xhaka (FC Basel 1893).

Forwards: Nassim Ben Khalifa (1. FC Nürnberg), Innocent Emeghara (Grasshopper-Club), Mario Gavranovic (FC Schalke 04), Admir Mehmedi (FC Zürich).