Goalkeeper Manninger earns recall to Austria squad
VIENNA, Nov 9 (Reuters) - AC Siena goalkeeper Alex Manninger has received a surprise recall to the Austrian national squad ahead of next Wednesday's friendly match at home to Trinidad & Tobago.
The 29-year-old former Arsenal stopper picked up the last of his 18 caps for Austria in October 2004 but has forced his way back into international consideration after a string of fine performances in Serie A.
Deemed surplus to requirements by Salzburg's new sporting director Giovanni Trapattoni during the summer, Manninger has conceded just nine goals in 10 Serie A matches with Siena to help take the club up to fifth
Manninger's chances of being fielded against Trinidad have been enhanced by the non-selection of Austria's regular goalkeeper Juergen Macho.
Austria coach Josef Hickersberger has agreed to let Macho stay with his German second division side Kaiserslautern who are due to play two league matches on Monday and Friday.
After starting his second spell as Austria coach with four defeats and a draw, Hickersberger will be looking to build on last month's much-needed friendly wins over Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
Austria have already qualified for Euro 2008 as tournament co-hosts along with the Swiss.
The coach will have to rejig his midfield, however, with Frankfurt's Markus Weissenberger and Heerenveen's Thomas Prager both ruled out with groin and knee injuries.
Captain Andreas Ivanschitz has been included in the 19 man-squad but a recent ankle injury makes him another midfield doubt.
Sturm Graz midfielder Klaus Salmutter is likely to be the main beneficiary as he awaits his first international cap.
Goalkeepers: Alex Manninger (Sienna), Helge Payer (Rapid Vienna), Andreas Schranz (GAK)
Defenders: Johannes Ertl (Austria Vienna), Ferdinand Feldhofer (Wacker Tirol), Christian Fuchs (Mattersburg), Martin Hiden (Rapid Vienna), Joachim Standfest (GAK), Martin Stranzl (Spartak Moscow)
Midfielders: Rene Aufhauser (Salzburg), Gyorgy Garics (Napoli), Andreas Ivanschitz (Panathinaikos), Christoph Leitgeb (Sturm Graz), Zlatko Junozovic (GAK), Yuksel Sariyar (Pasching), Juergen Salmutter (Sturm Graz)
Forwards: Muhammet Akagunduz (Kayserispor), Sanel Kuljic (Sion), Roland Linz (Boavista)