Liverpool and Switzerland midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri ruled out of the 2020 European Championship qualifiers

Liverpool midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri has withdrawn from Switzerland’s squad because of a groin injury.

Switzerland play the first of their 2020 European Championship qualifiers in Georgia on Saturday, before a home game against Denmark on 26 March.

Shaqiri, 27, has scored six goals for the Premier League leaders this season, but has not started a match since 30 January.

The issue has been described as “a painful inflammation in the groin area” and he will now miss the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Georgia and Denmark.

Shaqiri has been on the periphery for Liverpool in recent weeks but Jurgen Klopp will be loath to lose a member of his squad ahead of a season-defining run of matches.

Liverpool’s next game is at home against Tottenham on 31 March.

The Reds, aiming to become English champions for the first time since 1990, have a two-point lead over Manchester City, although Pep Guardiola’s side have a game in hand.

Liverpool have seven Premier League games remaining in 2018-19 and also face Porto in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

The Reds are through to the Champions League quarter-finals and are challenging for the Premier League title, thanks in part to the six goals Shaqiri scored from October to December.

Switzerland will announce a replacement for the 27-year-old on Tuesday.

Gibraltar and the Republic of Ireland are the other nations joining Vladimir Petkovic’s men in Group D of Euro 2020 qualifying.

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