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Austria midfielders Alaba, Leitgeb return for Euro 2016 qualifiers against Moldova, Sweden


VIENNA — Austria midfielders David Alaba and Christoph Leitgeb will return from injuries for next month's Euro 2016 qualifiers against Moldova and Sweden.

Both players missed the Group G leader's 1-0 win at Russia in June but were included in the 23-man squad announced by coach Marcel Koller on Tuesday.

Koller also selected defender Martin Hinteregger and striker Marc Janko, who are struggling with muscular problems but expected to recover in time.

Austria hosts Moldova in Vienna on Sept. 5 before taking on Sweden in Stockholm three days later.

Austria will secure qualification with three games left if it beats Moldova and Russia doesn't win against Sweden the same day. Austria has never qualified for a European Championship but took part in the 2008 tournament as a co-host with Switzerland.

"It will be important to play like we always do and don't get afraid now we are closing in on our goal," Koller said. "I think the players are experienced enough for that."

Austria leads the group with 16 points from six games, ahead of Sweden with 12 and Russia with eight. Moldova is last with two points. The group also includes Montenegro and Liechtenstein.

The top two teams in each group and the best third-placed team will qualify directly for the tournament in France, while the remaining third-placed teams will advance to the playoffs.


Goalkeepers: Robert Almer (Austria Vienna), (Eintracht Frankfurt), Ramazan Oezcan (Ingolstadt)

Defenders: Aleksandar Dragovic (Dynamo Kiev), (Leicester), Gyoergy Garics (Darmstadt), Martin Hinteregger (Salzburg), (Stuttgart), Sebastian Proedl (Watford), (Ingolstadt), (Tottenham)

Midfielders: David Alaba (Bayern Munich), Marko Arnautovic (Stoke), (Mainz), Martin Harnik (Stuttgart), Stefan Ilsanker (Leipzig), Jakob Jantscher (Luzern), (Werder Bremen), Christoph Leitgeb (Salzburg), Marcel Sabitzer (Leipzig)

Forwards: (Ingolstadt), Rubin Okotie (1860 Munich), Marc Janko (Basel)

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