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International Friendly: Can the Swiss Army See Off the USA?

Switzerland vs USA

Kybunpark is the place to be on Sunday night when Switzerland host USA in a fascinating warm up match between two pretty well-matched sides. 

The hosts have been a force in world football in recent years hovering just outside the top ten nations on the planet, and they’ve earned a reputation of being hard to beat.

The USA, on the other hand, have a young, energetic side – although maybe not as experienced but with plenty of attacking gusto.     

This International Friendly between Switzerland and USA presents the Swiss with an opportunity to fine tune before Euro 2020 and the United States to run the rule over their stars before the CONCACAF Gold Cup starts in July.

At 13th in the FIFA World Rankings, Switzerland are seven places above their opponents who, without their captain Christian Pulisic are below strength, and they really should have the edge.

However, I expect a tasty encounter.       

 

Talking Points

Switzerland’s settled side  

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 of 38 victories from 71 games, he can be proud of the work he has done and the Rossocrociati have started the World Cup qualification in fine form – beating both Bulgaria and Lithuania and they will be keen to keep a winning run of three going. 

Switzerland will be led on the pitch by Granit Xhaka who is an uncompromising figure with stacks of experience. The 28-year-old has 92 international caps and, if he can keep in the referees’ good books, he could be a big figure at Euro 2020.

Up front, Benfica’s Haris Seferovic has been scoring for fun in the Portuguese league and he remains a potent threat with 21 goals from 73 international appearances.

Seferovic is likely to lead the Swiss line with support from Monchengladbach’s 24-year-old forward Breel Embolo, who already has five international goals to his name.

In defence, Newcastle wing-back Fabian Schar is a classy player. The Magpies had a superb end of the Premier League season and Schar is a calming influence at the back as well as being dangerous in attack with a fine shot in his locker.     

Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer is the last line of defence and he won’t be fazed by USA’s lively attack.

USA’s Young Guns chance to impress

The International Friendly 2021 betting odds would lean further towards the Stars and Stripes if their captain and talisman Christian Pulisic was available. But he isn’t and that gives some of the USA’s other young stars a chance to write the International Friendly 2021 news headlines.

Pulisic is in Chelsea’s Champions League team this weekend but head coach Greg Berhalter has other gifted players to call upon, and they are likely to continue with their attacking style which has seen them score an average of five goals a game over the past six months.   

Borussia Dortmund’s 18-year-old striker Gio Reyna has already attracted attention from Europe’s biggest clubs and Die Schwarzgelben are hoping he could become as prolific as their former teenage sensation Pulisic.

Both players were on target in the Stars and Stripes last outing in a 2-1 victory over Northern Ireland. The Bundesliga is fertile ground for USA’s emerging stars, with 22-year-old RB Leipzig midfielder Tyler Adams gaining plenty of admirers, so as Wolfsburg’s defender John Brooks. 

Over in La Liga, Barcelona’s 20-year-old defender Sergino Dest has had an eventful campaign since his switch from Ajax, getting plenty of game time in his first campaign at the Camp Nou while helping the Blaugrana to win the Copa del Rey. 

 

History

The Swiss have been consistently strong performers in recent seasons, reaching the Round of 16 at Euro 2016 and the last four of the UEFA Nations League in 2019.

USA’s best achievement was a semifinal appearance at the World Cup back in 1930, but this is a new era for the Stars and Stripes.

With three wins from three so far in 2021, the Swiss will arrive at Euro 2021 in good spirits, while USA have won the last five games scoring 25 goals in the process, though not against opponents as strong as Switzerland.

 

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