Al­ba­nia in­cludes four new­com­ers in World Cup squad

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

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).

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