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Friday 29 August 2014

World Cup team preview: Switzerland

Published 09/06/2014 | 13:49

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We’re now just three days away from the World Cup opener and our third last team to preview is Switzerland.

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Ottmar Hitzfeld presides over a resilient outfit that will be quietly confident of emerging from the group stages at the very least.

They may not be the prettiest on the eye, but are a difficult side to breakdown and conceded just six goals in qualifying. This point was perhaps well illustrated in South Africa in 2006 when they became the first side in World Cup history to be eliminated without conceding a goal.

A three-way battle with Ecuador and France for two spots in a group that is attracting little attention.

Group E: Ecuador, France and Honduras

Tournament odds: 125/1

How they got here

A relatively straight forward affair, the Swiss finished top of their group and had seven points to spare over Iceland in second place. Success built on a water-tight defence.

Key player – Xherdan Shaqiri

The Bayern Munich man has not been a mainstay at club level under Pep Guardiola but is likely to be the key man for his country in Brazil.

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A quick and elusive player on the flank, he offers support to the attack and could be a creative spark to a functional outfit. 

Something you didn't know about Switzerland

In Switzerland, it is illegal to keep just one guinea pig. You got to have them in pairs

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