Euro 2016 preview: Switzerland can not afford a World Cup repeat mauling at the hand of FrancePublished June 19, 2016
This is a game that both can well afford to draw. A draw for France on these Euro 2016 Championships on the back of two wins would see them secure first place, and a draw for the Swiss would see them progress after a win and a draw against beating Albania and drawing with Romania.
The Swiss also have unfinished business to settle with France after they knocked them out of the World Cup two years ago 5-2. Les Bleus were up 3-0 at halftime and by the end of 90 minutes the Swiss were on the way home from Brazil.
It has been assumed that France will rest some the players who have played at least the bulk of the last two games for this one. The first two most likely are N’Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud as they both have a yellow card to their names.
The French have also lacked fluidity and although they won both games fairly comfortably, they have yet to turn their far superior possession into easy victories. Profligate finishing, with Olivier Giroud the main culprit, have seen French fans biting their nails into the latter stages of thee game.
Vladimir Petkovic’s side is not going into the game in the best frame of mind possible, with rumblings of discontent in the camp this week after Xherdan Shaqiri gave a public response to being overlooked for the captaincy, suggesting that he would consider defecting to newly FIFA-recognised Kosovo after the tournament. The Swiss FA are reportedly concerned that a number of their players with Kosovar heritage will consider switching allegiance in time for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, but Shaqiri’s words in particular will have given cause for concern as Petkovic’s side aim to reach the knockout stages of the Euros for the first time.
The Swiss have struggled, especially up front, where both of their goals so far have come from corners, and there could be changes with some calling for youngster Breel Embolo to be given a chance at the expense of Haris Seferovic who has missed a host of chances.
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