* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
Currently ranked 13th in the world, this generation of Switzerland stars has largely underachieved at international tournaments. They’ve not been ranked outside the top 25 in the FIFA World Rankings since 2007, yet have failed to make it past the Last 16 of an international tournament since 1954.
The Swiss failed to qualify for Euro 2012, and exited at the first knockout round at the 2014 & 2018 World Cups and Euro 2016. It doesn’t mean they will continue to underachieve though, and with a favourable group this time around, the tournament format might well suit them.
HOW THEY QUALIFIED
Switzerland topped a group that included the Republic of Ireland and Denmark. They took four points off Ireland, but just one against Denmark, losing away and drawing 3-3 at home. In all they won five of their eight group games, with two draws and that single defeat to the Danes.
Wales – Baku, Sun, Jun 12, 2pm
Italy – Rome, Wed, Jun 16, 8pm
Turkey – Baku, Sun, Jun 20, 5pm
Vladimir Petkovic has mainly managed Swiss clubs, but did enjoy a two-year stint at Lazio, winning the Coppa Italia in 2013 before taking over the Switzerland national team in 2014. Petkovic has a 51% win rate both as Swiss manager and overall in his managerial career.
They are likely to play a 4-4-2 in games they will be expecting to win (vs Turkey and Wales), and possibly switch to a back three against Italy, as they tend to play that formation when taking on higher-calibre opposition.
Petkovic likes balance from his wide players, with the ever-reliable Steven Zuber of Frankfurt on the left of midfield, with Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri on the right. Remo Freuler and Arsenal ace Granit Xhaka form a strong core in the middle of the park.
They like playing with the big target man Haris Seferovic, whose goal record has drastically improved this season, with 22 in 43 appearances for Benfica.
Granit Xhaka. The captain on the side, Switzerland are dependent on Xhaka for ball retention and that solid partnership with Atlanta’s Freuler. There’s few like-for-like replacements in the squad for the Gunners man, meaning they would need to change their style if he were injured or suspended.
ONE TO WATCH
Breel Embolo. Currently playing for Borussia Monchengladbach, Embolo has plenty of experience and this season featured in the Champions League knockout phase. Having just turned 24, he already has 42 international caps, along with 224 club appearances and 57 goals.
He is a threat going forward with blistering pace and has been described as a ‘complete forward’. Petkovic likes to play him as a No 10 behind Seferovic, but his versatility means he can also play alongside him, or even out wide if they choose a different formation.
Here’s all the key data on Switzerland’s squad.
- Squads and statistics correct at time of data sheet creation.
They play both Turkey and Wales in Baku, and Italy in Rome. It puts the Swiss at a slight disadvantage in terms of travel, with Italy being their second game. Even still, they would expect to qualify from the group.
BEST BET: To Reach the Quarter Finals
If Switzerland finish second in the group, they play the runners-up of Group B (Belgium, Denmark, Russia or Finland). They are rated better than Russia, and topped the qualifying group which contained Denmark. Although they haven’t gone past the Round of 16 in living memory, they could be a strong bet to do so here given the tournament format.
- Euro 2021 tips: Who to back – and avoid – to be group winners
- Euro 2021 tips: Who to back – and avoid – to be the tournament’s top goalscorer
- Euro 2021 tips: Who to back – and avoid – to be Young Player of the Tournament
- Euro 2021 tips: Who to back – and avoid – at this summer’s tournament
- Euro 2021 tips: High or low? Here’s where your goalscoring bets should go