- 1 A complicated first round
- 2 Shaqiri as a master to play
- 3 France – Switzerland, a habit in the final phase
- 4 Never beyond the round of 16
The players of coach Vladimir Petkovic did not live a quiet group stage, far from it. Hanging on by Wales at the opening (1-1), then largely beaten by Italy (3-0), the Swiss owe their salvation only to their victory against Turkey (3-1), won on Sunday, notably thanks to a double from Xherdan Shaqiri. With four points, the Nati qualified only thanks to the system which grants their ticket for the 8th to the four best thirds.
With a defeat against a very strong Italy and a victory against a very disappointing Turkey, it is difficult to locate where the real potential of the Swiss lies. The Blues, on the other hand, know where their main offensive weapon lies: at 29, the Liverpool player (where he has little playing time) is still the playing master of his selection. Above all, the playmaker of Kosovar origin is capable of brilliant shots. This was already the case at Euro 2016, where he had slammed in superb acrobatic return against Poland. This is still the case five years later: by scoring a double against the Turks, including a magnificent skylight strike from outside the area, Shaqiri simply offered a ticket for the 8th to his selection.
Switzerland and France have faced each other 38 times in their history, for 16 French victories, 10 draws and 12 Swiss victories. If 32 of these 38 matches were friendly, the two teams have not met in friendly since August 2003 and a French success in Geneva (0-2). But they have since developed the habit of competing in the final stages of major competitions. Monday, it will be the fifth time, in the last nine final stages of Euro or World Cup, that the Nati is on the road to the Blues.
The latter can be reassured by noting that they have not lost any of these four confrontations, all played in the group stage: to the two scoreless draws of the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2016 are added two victories. , at Euro 2004 (3-1) then at the 2014 World Cup (5-2).
If they manage to eliminate the French team on Monday evening, Granit Xhaka’s teammates will go down in the history of their selection: never, in fact, a Swiss selection has reached the quarter-finals of the Euro! She had never even qualified for the round of 16 before the last edition of the Euro, in 2016 in France (elimination on penalties by Poland).
In recent years, elimination in the 8th has even become a Swiss habit in international competition: the Nati also gave in at this stage of the competition during the last two Worlds, in 2014 against Argentina and in 2018 against Sweden. To the Blues to do everything to ensure that the series continues.
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