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Switzerland opts for experience in World Cup squad

June 4, 2018 GMT
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Switzerland's Ricardo Rodriguez, right, celebrates with his teammates scoring his side's opening goal during the friendly soccer match between Spain and Switzerland at the Ceramica stadium in Villarreal, Spain, Sunday, June 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)
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Switzerland's Ricardo Rodriguez, right, celebrates with his teammates scoring his side's opening goal during the friendly soccer match between Spain and Switzerland at the Ceramica stadium in Villarreal, Spain, Sunday, June 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)

LUGANO, Switzerland (AP) — Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic has stressed continuity in picking a 23-man World Cup squad with no surprises on Monday.

Switzerland will head to Russia with 17 of the same players who went to the 2016 European Championship. Nine of the squad members have at least 50 national team appearances.

Forward Admir Mehmedi is the only major injury absence from the coach’s likely starting lineup.

Midfielder Gelson Fernandes was included in his third straight World Cup, but his cousin Edimilson Fernandes was among three players in the provisional squad who were left out of the final 23.

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Petkovic says “we have a good mix in our team.”

Switzerland, which drew 1-1 win Spain in a friendly on Sunday, is in a World Cup group with Brazil, Serbia and Costa Rica.

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Squad:

Goalkeepers: Roman Buerki (Borussia Dortmund), Yvon Mvogo (Leipzig), Yann Sommer (Borussia Moenchengladbach)

Defenders: Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund), Johan Djourou (Antalyaspor), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Michael Lang (Basel), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Jacques-Francois Moubandje (Toulouse), Ricardo Rodriguez (AC Milan), Fabian Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna)

Midfielders: Valon Behrami (Udinese), Blerim Dzemaili (Bologna), Gelson Fernandes (Eintracht Frankfurt), Remo Freuler (Atalanta), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Denis Zakaria (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Steven Zuber (Hoffenheim)

Forwards: Josip Drmic (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Breel Embolo (Schalke), Mario Gavranovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Haris Seferovic (Benfica)

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More AP World Cup coverage: www.apnews.com/tag/WorldCup