Friday 19 April 2019

Swiss determined to put Danes on back foot despite striking absentees

Haris Seferovic will miss Switzerland's EURO2020 qualifier against Denmark. Photo: Gualter Fatia/Getty Images
Haris Seferovic will miss Switzerland's EURO2020 qualifier against Denmark. Photo: Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

John Fallon

From adopting a patient approach in Georgia, Switzerland will instead be expected to take the game to Denmark from the outset when the Euro 2020 Group D heavyweights clash in Basel tonight.

The failure of the top seeds in Ireland's group to get on the front foot in their last home game in November left them trailing by two goals against Belgium.

They required an epic comeback to win 5-2 against the World Cup semi-finalists but won't have the threat of hat-trick hero from that night, Haris Seferovic, in their ranks tonight.

The Benfica striker is joined on the injured list by Liverpool's Xherdan Shaqiri, the pair boasting between them 39 goals in 139 internationals. Fabian Schär also misses out, having admitted he was "knocked out for a few seconds" following a clash of heads with Georgia's Jemal Tabidze in Saturday's 2-0 win.

Uefa have been requested by brain injury charity Headway to investigate why the Newcastle defender was allowed stay on the pitch to complete the game despite receiving five minutes of treatment.

Those absences, coupled with their struggles to break down Georgia until the second half, have raised questions about the Swiss.

As occurred when Denmark faced Ireland four times over 13 months, Age Hareide is wily enough to capitalise on the availability of mind game opportunities.

"I hope Switzerland are tired after playing on an artificial surface in Tbilisi and having such a long journey home," he said.

Christian Eriksen is the man Switzerland intend neutralising. Arsenal's Granit Xhaka won't want to be upstaged on a homecoming to his native Basel. "I have faced Christian in our North London derbies and know all about his qualities," he noted.

Switzerland v Denmark, Live, Virgin Media Sport, 7.45

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