Soccer-Austria begin preparations for Euro 2020 with squad decided

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World Cup Qualifiers Europe - Group F - Austria v Denmark
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VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria coach Franco Foda has decided to gamble on the fitness of captain Julian Baumgartlinger, forward Marko Arnautovic and midfielder Christoph Baumgartner for the European Championship after naming them in his 26-man squad for the tournament.

Bayer Leverkusen's Baumgartlinger, 33, returned from a cruciate ligament injury with a late run as a substitute at Borussia Dortmund on Saturday while Baumgartner, 21, missed Hoffenheim’s last two games of the Bundesliga season with an ankle injury.

Arnautovic, 32, has been dealing with a thigh strain but all three are in the frame for the tournament, where Austria meet the Netherlands, North Macedonia and Ukraine in Group C.

Foda trimmed four players from his preliminary squad, with French-based striker Adrian Grbic, goalkeeper Heinz Lindner, defender Phillipp Mwene and midfielder Husein Balic all failing to make the cut.

Grbic has been part of the squad since joining Lorient last year and scored four goals in nine internationals. Lindner also narrowly missed out on selection for Euro 2016.

The squad will begin their preparations in the resort town of Bad Tatzmannsdorf on Thursday and train there until June 1 before heading to Middlesbrough, where they play a friendly against England on June 2.

They have a final warm-up game against Slovakia in Vienna on June 6 before Euro 2020 group games against North Macedonia (June 13 in Bucharest), the Netherlands (June 17 in Amsterdam) and Ukraine (June 21 in Bucharest).

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Daniel Bachmann (Watford), Pavao Pervan (Wolfsburg), Alexander Schlager (LASK Linz)

Defenders: David Alaba (Bayern Munich), Aleksandar Dragovic (Bayer Leverkusen), Marco Friedl (Werder Bremen), Martin Hinteregger (Eintracht Frankfurt), Stefan Lainer (Borussia M'gladbach), Philipp Lienhart (Freiburg), Stefan Posch (Hoffenheim), Christopher Trimmel (Union Berlin), Andreas Ulmer (Salzburg)

Midfielders: Julian Baumgartlinger (Bayer Leverkusen), Christoph Baumgartner (Hoffenheim), Florian Grillitsch (Hoffenheim), Stefan Ilsanker (Eintracht Frankfurt), Konrad Laimer (RB Leipzig), Valentino Lazaro (Borussia M'gladbach), Marcel Sabitzer (RB Leipzig), Louis Schaub (Luzern), Xaver Schlager (Wolfsburg), Alessandro Schopf (Schalke 04)

Forwards: Marko Arnautovic (Shanghai Port), Michael Gregoritsch (Augsburg), Sasa Kalajdzic (Stuttgart), Karim Onisiwo (Mainz 05).

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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