Frei and Behrami to return for Chile match

Frei during a game in 2009 Keystone

Alexander Frei and Valon Behrami have been declared fit to play in Switzerland’s second match of the 2010 football World Cup against Chile on Monday.

This content was published on June 19, 2010 - 15:33

Both players missed Wednesday’s stunning defeat of European champions Spain on Wednesday because they had failed to recover in time from injuries. Frei, Switzerland’s captain, sprained his ankle a week ago; Behrami has been struggling with a thigh muscle injury.

Less good news for the Swiss is that Philippe Senderos injured his right ankle against Spain and has been ruled out until at least the second round.

Despite his team’s excellent start, Swiss coach Ottmar Hitzfeld maintained on Saturday that Chile – ranked 18 in the world, six places above Switzerland – were favourites.

“[Chile] have impressed me. First of all in the qualifying rounds [where they finished above Argentina in the South American group],” he said.

“Against Honduras they were incredible and should have won 3-0 or 4-0 instead of 1-0. They’re solid and very fast.”

Bookmakers also make Chile slight favourites – although they also made Spain massive favourites.

Switzerland’s final group match is against Honduras on Friday. The top two teams advance to the next round. and agencies

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