Wales vs Switzerland – Euro 2020 Preview
Wales were the surprise package at the last European Championships as they reached the Semi-Final stage before going out to eventual winners Portugal. They have not had an ideal preparation to this tournament with manager Gareth Bale having to step down. Wales had a good defensive record in qualification as they conceded just 5 goals in 8 games, though they scored just 10 which will be a concern. In their last 13 competitive games Wales have won 9, drawn 3 and lost 1. There are many recognisable names in this Welsh squad, all over the park with goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace), Ben Davies (Spurs), Joe Rodon (Spurs), Connor Roberts (Swansea) and Neco Williams (Liverpool) at the back. Midfielders such as Joe Allen (Stoke), Harry Wilson (Cardiff) and attacking options like Tyler Roberts (Leeds), Dan James (Man United) and of course star man Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) are all familiar names. This is only the third major tournament that Wales have qualified for, and whilst they will do exceptionally well to match their exploits from 2016, they will be hoping to make it out the group and maybe spring a surprise or two in the knock out stage.
Switzerland won their qualifying group with 5 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss, scoring 19 goals and conceding 6. They have won their last 6 games, though the most recent 3 were friendlies against low level opposition in Finland, USA and Lichtsteiner. Premier League players Fabian Schar (Newcastle), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) and Xherdan Shaqiri (Liverpool) are all familiar names that add a touch of class to this Swiss team. Manager Vladimir Petkovic led Switzerland out of the group stages in the 2016 Euro’s and 2018 World Cup, and with a record of just 18 losses in his 73 games in charge and a win rate over 50%, many people will fancy Switzerland to get out of the group here.
The referee for this game is Clement Turpin (France). This season he has taken charge of 27 games, he has given 84 yellow cards and 13 red cards, an average of 3.11 yellow cards per game and 0.48 red cards per game. In his career he has taken charge of 271 games, he has given 881 yellow cards and 82 red card, an average of 3.25 yellow cards per game and 0.30 red cards per game.
Its an obvious statement but both sides will be desperate to win this game. Italy won in impressive fashion last night and a win for either side here will really give them a great chance of making it out of this group. Turkey will not be easy opposition to get past and Italy will be a very tough nut to crack for either of these sides, so a win here is vital in their hope to make it out the group. I feel we could get quite an open game here, purely for the fact that I don’t feel either side has the necessary quality advantage to control possession and territory for long periods, I feel both sides will get chances and both sides have the quality to take them. With what’s at stake I feel this will be a very hard fought game, and the likeliest results will be a 1-1 draw or either side pinch the game 2-1.