Well, this is a nice boost ahead of next week's game. Xherdan Shaqiri will not take part in the Euro 2020 qualifier between Ireland and Switzerland, having made himself unavailable for selection.
The Liverpool winger is the key man for the Swiss, and he was expected to be a major thorn in Ireland's side in the Aviva next Thursday night.
However, when the Swiss announced their squad this afternoon, there was no sign of Shaqiri. Bizarrely, the Swiss FA said that the player will miss the game as he has decided to focus all his attentions on his club form.
ℹ️ Xherdan Shaqiri non sarà a disposizione. Ha deciso di concentrarsi pienamente sul suo club
— 🇨🇭 Nati (@nati_sfv_asf) August 30, 2019
Xherdan Shaqiri will not be available. He decided to focus fully on his club.
Shaqiri has made only one appearance for Liverpool this season, a 10 minute cameo in the Community Shield against Manchester City.
His decision to miss this game may give an insight into the Swiss' opinion of Ireland, and perhaps he feels his side will be able to take care of business without his input.
Regardless of Shaqiri's absence, this is still a strong Switzerland squad. Granit Xhaka and Fabian Schar will be familiar names to Premier League fans, while the likes of Breel Embolo and Ricardo Rodriguez are also well known names.
A positive result for Ireland in this game would be a major step towards World Cup qualification. Switzerland drew with Denmark earlier in the campaign, and you feel Mick McCarthy's side will have to match that result.
There should be a cracking atmosphere at the Aviva, something the players on the pitch will hopefully feed off of.