Austria coach Foda drops Lindner, Grbic from Euro 2020 squad

VIENNA (AP) — Goalkeeper Heinz Lindner and striker Adrian Grbic have been dropped from Austria’s squad for the European Championship.

The duo had been included in a preliminary selection but was missing from the team’s 26-player roster for Euro 2020 announced Monday by coach Franco Foda.

“The coaching staff decided to start the preparation with 26 players. It was a difficult decision, especially from a human perspective,” Foda said.

Lindner has 28 caps and was the most experienced of the four goalkeepers in the initial squad. The Basel ‘keeper was Foda’s first choice for two years after Robert Almer retired in 2016 before losing his place to LASK’s Alexander Schlager and Wolfsburg’s Pavao Pervan.

Grbic made his national team debut last year and the Lorient striker scored four times in his first seven matches, including a late winner in a 2-1 victory against Northern Ireland and a stoppage-time equalizer in a 1-1 draw with Norway in the Nations League in November.

Led by Bayern Munich defender David Alaba, Austria’s squad consists of 21 German Bundesliga players, including Frankfurt’s Martin Hinteregger, Leverkusen’s Julian Baumgartlinger and Leipzig’s Marcel Sabitzer.

Only two members of the squad play in Austria’s domestic league: LASK’s Schlager and Salzburg left back Andreas Ulmer.

The team will gather for a training camp in Bad Tatzmannsdorf on Friday.

Austria plays England in Middlesbrough on June 2 and Slovakia in Vienna four days later in its two warm-up games before taking on North Macedonia in the team’s Euro 2020 opener in Bucharest on June 13. Netherlands and Ukraine are its other opponents in Group C.

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Squad:

Goalkeepers: Daniel Bachmann (Watford), Pavao Pervan (Wolfsburg), Alexander Schlager (LASK)

Defenders: David Alaba (Bayern Munich), Aleksandar Dragovic (Leverkusen), Marco Friedl (Werder Bremen), Martin Hinteregger (Eintracht Frankfurt), Stefan Lainer (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Philipp Lienhart (Freiburg), Stefan Posch (Hoffenheim), Christopher Trimmel (Union Berlin), Andreas Ulmer (Salzburg)

Midfielders: Julian Baumgartlinger (Leverkusen), Christoph Baumgartner (Hoffenheim), Florian Grillitsch (Hoffenheim), Stefan Ilsanker (Eintracht Frankfurt), Konrad Laimer (Leipzig), Valentino Lazaro (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Marcel Sabitzer (Leipzig), Louis Schaub (Luzern), Xaver Schlager (Wolfsburg), Alessandro Schöpf (Schalke)

Forwards: Marko Arnautovic (Shanghai), Michael Gregoritsch (Augsburg), Sasa Kalajdzic (Stuttgart), Karim Onisiwo (Mainz)

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