Stephan Lichtsteiner is expected to start for Switzerland against England on Tuesday night after sitting in the stands for their first game of the international break against Iceland.
The 34-year-old arrived at Arsenal on a free transfer this summer but has only played 55 minutes for his new club. As such, Swiss publication Blick believe this game is the perfect opportunity for the defender to ‘advertise his own business in the country of his new employer, Arsenal.’
Lichtsteiner was called up to play for Switzerland over the international break despite reports that he would be forced out of the team.
Back in early August, various sources in the Swiss media reported that Lichtsteiner, Johan Djourou and Gelson Fernandes were all set to follow Valon Behrami in being forced out of the national team. Days after the reports emerged, Fernandes duly announced his exit, seemingly confirming Lichtsteiner would be next.
However, despite continued claims in Switzerland that head coach Vladimir Petkovic doesn’t want any of the “established players” to return, he called up Lichtsteiner anyway.
Kader | Liste | Rosa
— nationalteams_SFVASF (@SFV_ASF) August 31, 2018
Perhaps Lichtsteiner’s public refusal to quit the team played a part in the decision. After the retirement reports emerged, the 34-year-old told the media he would “definitely” carry on playing for Switzerland for as long as they keep picking him.
According to Blick, they are expected to do just that on Tuesday against England at Wembley.