Swiss seek to keep up the pressure
NICOSIA, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Switzerland need to recover from a disappointing 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw against Israel with a win over Cyprus on Wednesday to maintain their place at the forefront of the tense battle for Group Four.
Victory in Basel last Saturday would have given Koebi Kuhn's men a two-point lead over Ireland and France, who meet in Dublin on Wednesday.
As it stands, Switzerland, Ireland and France all have 13 points with three matches remaining. Israel are fourth on 12, with two games against the Faroe Islands to come.
'There are a number of things we have to do better than we did against Israel,' Kuhn told reporters following the Swiss squad's arrival in Nicosia.
'We cannot afford to give away the same type of free kicks in dangerous areas. We have to make fewer mistakes and hold up the ball better, and there has to be more movement between the individual lines.'
Kuhn is expected to name roughly the same lineup to the side which started in Basel although following his suspension against Israel, Hamburg midfielder Raphael Wicky should find his way back onto the teamsheet, with Lille's Daniel Gygax most likely to miss out.
Grasshoppers Zurich playmaker Ricardo Cabanas is again likely to start on the bench, having picked up a thigh muscle injury after coming on as a substitute on Saturday.
Cyprus are out of contention with four points from their seven games but could still have a say on who does go through as they play the top three in their remaining three games.
Switzerland needed an 87th-minute Alexander Frei goal to beat Cyprus 1-0 in their March Zurich meeting and with new Greek coach Angelos Anastasiades taking charge on home soil for the first time they can expect a motivated opposition.
Anastasiades, who has accused some unnamed players of putting their clubs before their country, will coach the team from the stands after he received an one match suspension after being sent off during the 3-0 win in the Faroe Islands.
Cyprus are without injured George Theotodou and suspended duo Costas Makrides and Eleftherios Eleftheriou while there is a question mark over injured midfielder Stavros Georgiou.
Teams: Cyprus: To be announced.
Switzerland: (probable). Pascal Zuberbuehler; Ludovic Magnin, Philippe Senderos, Patrick Mueller, Philipp Degen, Raphael Wicky, Hakan Yakin, Johann Vogel, Tranquillo Barnetta, Johan Vonlanthen, Alex Frei.
Referee: Nicolai Ivanov (Russia)