Sunday 4 December 2016

Euro 2016 team-by-team guide: Everything you need to know Switzerland

Published 09/05/2016 | 18:28

Swiss players reacts after the Euro 2016 Group E qualifying football match between Estonia and Switzerland
Swiss players reacts after the Euro 2016 Group E qualifying football match between Estonia and Switzerland

Kevin Palmer gives us the lowdown on the Switzerland.

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SWITZERLAND

Odds: 50/1

Group A fixtures

June 11th: Albania in Lens

June 15th: Romania in Paris

June 19th: France in Lille

COACH: Vladimir Petkovic

Switzerland did not make a positive impression during a 1-0 defeat against the Republic of Ireland in their Dublin friendly in March and questions marks hover over Petkovic’s side as they prepare for their French adventure this summer.

This Bosnian-born coach emigrated to Switzerland in 1987 and he has worked his way up the coaching ladder as manager of Young Boys and Sion in his adopted homeland, Samsunspor in Switzerland and as coach of Lazio in Serie A, with his Coppa Italia success in 2012 propelling his credentials to take over as Swiss boss in 2014. His Swiss side will play with a high attacking line this summer, but his team has some problems that need to be solved.

STAR MAN: Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke)

Eyebrows were raised when this superstar of Swiss football swapped Inter Milan for ‘windy nights in Stoke’ last summer and while he has shown flashes of his brilliance in his first season as a Premier League player, he has not been consistently effective.

At least he has been playing regular first team football this season, which was not the case in the build-up to the 2014 World Cup as he struggled to make his mark in the Bayern Munich team. A key man in this Swiss side, Shaqiri will be given license to hurt the opposition on either flank or as support striker. His nation expects, now can he deliver?

LOOK OUT FOR: Haris Seferovic (Eintracht Frankfurt)

This striker shot to prominence as he star of the tournament as Switzerland lifted the under-17 World Championship title in 2009, with his promotion to the senior national team coming in 2013.

Previously with Real Sociedad in Spain, he moved to Frankfurt in 2014 and had a reasonably impressive first season by taking his tally for Bundesliga goals into double figures. He has been less prolific in recent months in a struggling side, but that may not block his ambition to start Euro 2016 as Switzerland’s lead striker. He score three goals in qualifying for the competition.

WILD CARD: Granit Xhaka (Borussia Monchengladbach)

 

After months of speculation, Xhaka completed his move to Arsenal at the end of May and heads into Euro 2016 determined to confirm he is ready to shine in England's Premier League.

Often compared to German World Cup winning great Bastian Schweinsteiger, Xhaka started his career at Basel before sealing a move to Germany in 2012 and his price tag has slowly inflated in the years since. Switzerland will be hoping one of their talismen lives up to his billing in France.

VERDICT: Switzerland have enough match winners in their squad to get through to the latter stages and emerge as one of the upset kings of Euro 2016, but the Swiss media appear to be less the convinced their team will live up to their promise in France.

A less than secure defence has been exposed when they step up against top class sides and there is a feeling that belief is lacking among this Swiss squad to beat one of the true heavyweights of European football. Time will tell if they can silence their doubters.

SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Roman Buerki (Borussia Dortmund), Marwin Hitz (Augsburg), Yann Sommer (Borussia Moenchengladbach).

Defenders: Johan Djourou (Hamburg SV), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Michael Lang (FC Basel), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Francois Moubandje (Toulouse), Ricardo Rodriguez (VfL Wolfsburg), Fabian Schaer (Hoffenheim), Steve Von Bergen (Young Boys)

Midfielders: Valon Behrami (Watford), Blerim Dzemaili (Genoa), Gelson Fernandes (Rennes), Fabian Frei (Mainz 05), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City), Granit Xhaka (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Denis Zakaria (Young Boys)

Forwards: Eren Derdiyok (Kasimpasa), Breel Embolo (FC Basel), Admir Mehmedi (Bayer Leverkusen), Haris Seferovic (Eintracht Frankfurt), Shani Tarashaj (Grasshoppers)

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