Switzerland vs Spain
Euro 2020 – Quarter Final
Date: Friday, 2nd July 2021
Kick-off at 17:00 UK/ 18:00 CET
Venue: Gazprom Arena.
The Swiss squad showed remarkable resilience in overcoming possibly one of the tournament favorites, in the Round of 16.
Pitted against reigning world champions France, they took the fight to them and refused to back down. They struck in an early goal, and led till the half time.
In the opening minutes of the second half, the team had an opportunity via a penalty kick to raise the lead to 2-0, and put the game to bed. However, Hugo Lloris saved the kick, and then immediately after Karim Benzema slotted in two goals back-to-back.
To screw in the final nail on the coffin, Paul Pogba sent in a thunderous strike – which put France at a remarkable scoreline of 3-1, with just 15 minutes left.
However, Vladimir Petkovic’s men then scripted an unbelievable comeback. Against the superstar-filled French squad, they scored two goals in the dying minutes, with the second one coming in the 90th minute.
This added confidence helped them to defend well all through the 30-min extra time, and they carried it over to the penalty shootout as well.
Meanwhile, Spain survived a scare against World Cup finalists Croatia. Not only did they concede a careless own goal, but they also allowed the game to go into extra time, after scores were tied 3-3 at the end of the regular period.
Anyhow, in the next 30 minutes, La Roja really showed glimpses of their golden period ten years back. The Croatians were not even allowed to touch the ball properly during the stretch, and Luis Enrique’s men slotted in two goals as well.
The Spaniards have come to this tournament with great hopes, and with Portugal and France already out, their path to glory is more clear. Moreover, one of England and Germany will be sent home after the Round of 16 as well.
They surely will be switching gears, and will try to make the most of this opportunity.
Meanwhile, the Swiss have showed that they have great fighting spirit, and with them having nothing to lose, we can expect a fierce encounter this weekend.
Switzerland: Team News
After picking up another yellow card in the Round of 16, Granit Xhaka, captain of the Swiss squad will be suspended for the Quarters.
His towering and inspirational presence will surely be missed this weekend, and most probably this will be compensated by the duo of Maria Gavranovic, and Xherdan Shaqiri.
Switzerland: Predicted Line-up (3-4-1-2)
Sommer – Elvedi, Akanji, Rodriguez – Widmer, Freuler, Gavranovic, Zuber – Shaqiri – Seferovic, Embolo.
Spain: Team News
Goalkeeper Unai Simon did concede an own goal, but he more than made up for it with great performances late in the game. It’s unlikely if Enrique would put him on the bench.
Going on, the likes of Pedri and Sergio Busquets must have gotten place in the long-term plans of the gaffer with solid performances. Even Alvaro Morata made amends for his misses with a crucial goal in the extra time, which shifted the momentum in their favor.
As such, expect the same line-up as their match-up against Crotia.
Spain: Predicted Line-up (4-3-3)
Simon – Azpilicueta, Garcia, Laporte, Gaya – Koke, Busquets, Pedri – Torres, Morata, Sarabia
Switzerland vs Spain: Head-to-head (h2h)
- The latest encounter had ended in a 1-1 draw.
- In the past six decades, the Spaniards have lost just once against this rival.
- Only once have they failed to find the back of the net against this foe since 1957.
- Five of the preceding eight clashes had goals from both teams.
Switzerland vs Spain: Prediction
Not once have Switzerland kept a clean sheet in this tournament so far, and also their sole win from the four games played till now had come against the struggling Turkey.
Also, the absence of captain Granit Xhaka will be a major factor, and that too against a deadly talented and in-form team like La Roja.
Enrique’s men have scored a total of ten goals from the last two matches alone, and with several contenders already having been eliminated, they genuinely believe they are the favorites.
Moreover, the Spaniards will be thankful that they are locking horns with the tired Swiss, instead of the world champions.
On top of that, La Roja also have a great h2h record against this foe over the years.
By the looks of things, expect a Spanish victory this Friday at the Gazprom Arena. Do also expect goals in plenty as Petkovic’s men just won’t back down.
The Spaniards will take advantage of this desperation by the Swiss, and will take more shots at the goal.