Albania includes four newcomers in World Cup squad
Albania coach Gianni De Biasi has included four newcomers in his squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Spain.
They are forwards Rey Manaj of Pescara (Italy) and Azdren Llullaku of Gaz Metan (Romania), along with midfielders Eros Grezda of Lokomotiva (Croatia) and Liridon Latifi of Skenderbeu (Albania).
Albania plays at Lichtenstein on Thursday and hosts Spain three days later in the Group G match.
De Biasi said he hopes injured forward Armando Sadiku will recover in time for Spain.
Albania has a tough route to the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia, with the group including not only Spain and Italy but potentially difficult opponents like Israel and Macedonia.
"Travelling to Russia 2018 is very difficult and we should try to make that the least possible complicated road," De Biasi said at a news conference on Saturday.
De Biasi said his team needed to focus against Lichtenstein "because we should get points." The Italian added: "And when we want points, it is not that simple for us."
Spain, Italy and Albania all have three points in the group.
Goalkeepers: Etrit Berisha (Atalanta), Alban Hoxha (Partizani), Orges Shehi (Skenderbeu).
Defenders: Naser Aliji (Kaiserslautern), Berat Gjimshiti (Avellino), Mergim Mavraj (Cologne), Elseid Hysaj (Napoli), Ansi Agolli (Qarabag), Frederic Veseli (Empoli).
Midfielders: Ledian Memushaj (Pescara), Ergys Kace (Viktoria Plzen), Andi Lila (Giannina), Liridon Latifi (Skenderbeu), Migjen Basha (Bari), Eros Grezda (Lokomotiva), Odise Roshi (Terek Grozny), Burim Kukeli (Zurich), Ermir Lenjani (Rennes), Jahmir Hyka (Luzern), Taulant Xhaka (Basel), Amir Abrashi (Freiburg).
Forwards: Bekim Balaj (Terek Grozny), Sokol Cikalleshi (Istanbul Basaksehir), Armando Sadiku (Zurich), Azdren Llullaku (Gaz Metan), Rey Manaj (Pescara).