David Alaba and Marko Arnautovic are the headline names in Austria coach Marcel Koller’s 24-man provisional squad for Euro 2016.
Versatile Bayern Munich star Alaba and Stoke forward Arnautovic, who netted seven goals between them as Austria went unbeaten in qualifying, have both enjoyed fruitful seasons with their respective club sides.
Alaba helped Bayern Munich to a fourth consecutive Bundesliga title, while Arnautovic looks certain to Stoke’s top goalscorer.
And Koller, who must cut the selection of players down to 23 on May 31, believes that having the likes of Alaba, Arnautovic and Christian Fuchs – fresh from lifting the Premier League title with Leicester City – available means that Austria have plenty of quality among their ranks.
“We can rely on the proven team,” said Koller, who took charge in 2011 and has overseen Austria’s first-ever successful qualification campaign for a European Championship with their only appearance at the tournament coming as co-hosts in 2008.
Perhaps the only surprise selection is that of Red Bull Salzburg’s 20-year-old midfielder Valentino Lazaro, who is one of only two players from the Austria Bundesliga to be included in Koller’s preliminary squad.
Lazaro, who has taken the place of Nuremburg midfielder Guido Burgstaller, has previously won four caps, though he had not been called up to the national team since October 2014.
Austria kick-off their tournament on June 14, taking on Hungary before facing Portugal and Iceland in their remaining Group F fixtures.
Squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Robert Almer (Austria Vienna), Heinz Lindner (Eintracht Frankfurt), Ramazan Ozcan (Ingolstadt)
Defenders: Aleksandar Dragovic (Dynamo Kiev), Christian Fuchs (Leicester City), Gyorgy Garics (Darstadt), Martin Hinteregger (Borussia Monchengladbach), Florian Klein (Stuttgart), Sebastian Prodl (Watford), Markus Suttner (Ingolstadt), Kevin Wimmer (Tottenham)
Midfielders: David Alaba (Bayern Munich), Julian Baumgartlinger (Mainz), Martin Harnik (Stuttgart), Stefan Ilsanker (Leipzig), Jakob Jantscher (Luzern), Zlatko Junuzovic (Werder Bremen), Valentino Lazaro (Red Bull Salzburg), Marcel Sabitzer (Red Bull Leipzig), Alessandro Schopf (Schalke)
Forwards: Lukas Hinterseer (Ingolstadt), Rubin Okotie (1860 Munich), Marc Janko (FC Basel), Marko Arnautovic (Stoke)
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