Euro 2016 Group A Preview: Switzerland

Switzerland will be looking to make an impact at Euro 2016 and they look to make it out of their group for the first time. Are Switzerland set to be one of the dark horses or will there be more disappointment for the Swiss?

Switzerland look to make it out of the group for the first time image: ocnal.com

Switzerland look to make it out of the group for the first time
image: ocnal.com

History

This is just Switzerland’s fourth appearance at a European Championships.

They have failed to make it out of their group on all three previous occasions, including their last tournament as co-hosts in 2008.

Key Player

Granit Xhaka completed a £35m move to Arsenal last month image: uefa.com

Granit Xhaka completed a £35m move to Arsenal last month
image: uefa.com

Just two weeks after completing a big money move to Arsenal from Borussia Monchengladbach, Granit Xhaka will be a key man in the heart of the Swiss midfield as he hopes to guide his country as far as possible at Euro 2016.

The 23-year-old has enjoyed a great season for Borussia Monchengladbach and although he may not score many goals, it is his tackling, versatility and physicality that will play a vital role in the centre of the Swiss midfield.

He has been compared to Italian legend Andrea Pirlo by teammates so this is the chance to show Europe and Arsenal exactly what he is capable of. He is just 23 so there is plenty of time for improvement as he looks to become a superstar for both new club Arsenal and Switzerland.

One to Watch

Basel striker Breel Embolo is definitely one to watch at Euro 2016 and even though he is just 19-years-old he is already a force to be reckoned with. He is speedy, he is powerful and ready to make an impact.

Breel Embolo is already a summer target for Premier League clubs image: dailymail.co.uk

Breel Embolo is already a summer target for Premier League clubs
image: dailymail.co.uk

He may not start for Switzerland but he definitely has the capability to be a real game changer and with 29 goals under his belt into the last two seasons at Basel, he will hope to add a few more in France.

He is definitely one for the future and should the young striker make quite the impact at the European Championships, Europe’s big guns will be out to snap him up.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Roman Buerki (Borussia Dortmund), Marwin Hitz (Augsburg), Yann Sommer (Borussia Moenchengladbach).

Defenders: Johan Djourou (Hamburg), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Michael Lang (Basel), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Francois Moubandje (Toulouse), Ricardo Rodriguez (Wolfsburg), Fabian Schaer (Hoffenheim), Steve Von Bergen (Young Boys)

Midfielders: Valon Behrami (Watford), Blerim Dzemaili (Genoa), Gelson Fernandes (Rennes), Fabian Frei (Mainz), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Denis Zakaria (Young Boys)

Strikers: Eren Derdiyok (Kasimpasa), Breel Embolo (Basel), Admir Mehmedi (Bayer Leverkusen), Haris Seferovic (Eintracht Frankfurt), Shani Tarashaj (Grasshoppers)

Switzerland's last European Championship was as co-host in 2008 image: eu-football-info.tumblr.com

Switzerland’s last European Championship was as co-host in 2008
image: eu-football-info.tumblr.com

Prediction: Last 16

Switzerland have never made it out of the group stages at a European Championship but I think that is all about to change as I believe this Swiss side are good enough to claim second place in group A behind France.

They have got some decent players in the likes of Ricardo Rodriguez, Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka and while I believe the Swiss and Romania will be the one’s battling it out for second place, I think Switzerland have got just more quality that the Romanians.

It is hard to figure out the new system and who will play who in the knockout stages, but a friendly draw could be enough to get Vladimir Petkovic’s side into the quarter-finals. However, I think their journey will end in the round of 16.

Switzerland’s Fixtures 

11 June v Albania (1400)

15 June v Romania (1700)

19 June v France (2000)

Leave a comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s