Austria forward Burgstaller returns for Moldova qualifier

Schalke's Guido Burgstaller, left, celebrates after scoring during the German Bundesliga soccer match between FC Schalke 04 and FC Augsburg in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Sunday, March 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

VIENNA — Austria forward Guido Burgstaller will return to the national team for next week's World Cup qualifier against Moldova and a friendly against Finland.

Missing from the team since being dropped ahead of the 2016 European Championship, the Schalke player was included in the 23-man squad announced Tuesday by Austria coach Marcel Koller.

"He moves a lot, creates space, is a two-footed player, and he has proven that he can score goals," Koller said about Burgstaller, who has scored six times for Schalke since joining the Bundesliga club during the winter break.

The squad contained two debutants, Stoke goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann and Salzburg defender Stefan Lainer. Bachmann replaced Leverkusen goalkeeper Ramazan Oezcan, who announced his retirement from the national team on Monday.

Austria plays Moldova in Group D in Vienna on March 24, and hosts Finland in Innsbruck four days later.

After four qualifying matches, Ireland leads the group with 10 points, followed by Serbia with eight, Wales with six, and Austria with four.

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Austria squad:

Goalkeepers: Daniel Bachmann (Stoke), Heinz Lindner (Frankfurt), Andreas Lukse (Altach)

Defenders: Aleksandar Dragovic (Bayer Leverkusen), Martin Hinteregger (Augsburg), Stefan Lainer (Salzburg), Valentino Lazaro (Salzburg), Michael Madl (Fulham), Sebastian Proedl (Watford), Markus Suttner (Ingolstadt), Kevin Wimmer (Tottenham)

Midfielders: David Alaba (Bayern Munich), Marko Arnautovic (Stoke), Julian Baumgartlinger (Bayer Leverkusen), Martin Harnik (Hannover), Stefan Ilsanker (Leipzig), Zlatko Junuzovic (Werder Bremen), Marcel Sabitzer (Leipzig), Louis Schaub (Rapid Vienna), Alessandro Schoepf (Schalke)

Forwards: Guido Burgstaller (Schalke), Michael Gregoritsch (Hamburg), Marc Janko (FC Basel)

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