Well folks, after a long, long wait… Euro 2020 is almost upon us. The domestic leagues are all coming to an exciting climax, with some matters already settled but plenty still to resolve; and then the best players in Europe will pitch their skills against each other with the pride of their nations to carry them to greatness.
So now is a good time to run the rule over some of the nations involved, and today it’s the turn of Switzerland.
They may not be one of the favourites for Euro 2020 but Switzerland is a team which any nation in European football will be wary of. They have been one of the best organised outfits over the last decade, difficult to beat and with a cutting edge, so let’s take a closer look and try to work out how far the Swiss can go.
Head Coach and tactics
Vladimir Petkovic took over the reigns of the Swiss national team in 2014 and has guided a talented and well organised group of players to decent success in that time. With a win percentage of 53 per cent, 38 victories from 71 games, the former Lazio head coach has instilled a Serie A type granite toughness to his team and they have frustrated some of the best sides in world football.
Players to look out for
While Switzerland doesn’t boast the biggest names in football, they have plenty of stars plying their trade in the top leagues. Bundesliga giants Borussia Monchengladbach have goalkeeper Yann Sommer and forward Breel Embolo on their books. The 24 year old striker has five goals international goals to his name and he scored the first in Switzerland’s opening World Cup 2022 qualifying game, a 3-1 victory over Bulgaria.
Over in the Premier League, defender Fabian Schar has played a big role in Newcastle United’s Premier League survival campaign as a key member of the Magpies’ defence and with an eye for a goal. And down in North London, Switzerland’s skipper Granit Xhaka is still putting himself about at Arsenal. With 92 international caps the 28 year old has bags of experience but he still has a hot head on his shoulders. He’s had a hit and miss season again with Arsenal, sometimes imperious and sometimes infuriating. Xhaka picked up a red card in a defeat to Burnley which cost his team three points, and while the likes of Spurs and Everton have struggled to keep pace with the leading pack, the Gunners have been hovering around mid-table.
Up front, Benfica’s Haris Seferovic remains a potent threat and he has 21 goals from 73 international appearances.
History and ranking
The Swiss made the Round of 16 at Euro 2016 and the last four of the UEFA Nations League in 2019, and at 13th in the FIFA World rankings they are a team to be reckoned with. At the last European tournament Switzerland beat Albania, thanks to a goal from Schar, and drew with Romania and France to reach the Round of 16. There they met Poland and took the game to penalties after Xherdan Shaqiri had scored a spectacular equaliser.
How far can they go this time?
With three wins from three so far in 2021, the Swiss will arrive at Euro 2021 in good spirits. Victories over Bulgaria, Lithuania and Finland have produced seven goals for Petkovic’s men, and if they continue to score goals, combined with their legendary doggedness, they have every chance of a good campaign
The Euro 2020 betting odds here at SBOTOPoffer a generous 101.00 on Switzerland to win the tournament or 31.00 for them to reach the final.
In a group containing highly fancied Italy, along with Turkey and Wales, Petkovic’s team has its work cut out, but we reckon they have a pretty good chance to proceed to the knockout stages. At 6.00 to win Group A, the Swiss have the edge on Turkey at 7.00 and Wales at 7.60.
So that’s Switzerland.
They are nobody’s favourites for the tournament, outside of Bern, but neither will they be anybody’s favourite opponent, and the Swiss will be competitive in every game they play.
So the big day is fast approaching and, with just a month to wait until Europe’s football extravaganza kicks off, we’ll be upping the ante with Euro 2020 news and updatesto keep you informed as the tournament gets ever closer.
Bring it on!