Sports Mole provides an overview of Monday’s European Championship game between France and Switzerland, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Switzerland aim to produce a shock of seismic proportions during their Euro 2020 last 16 clash on Monday, as they prepare to meet the reigning world champions France at the national arena in Bucharest.
Les Bleus finished first in the death group to seal the advance to the round of 16, while Switzerland managed to qualify as one of the top four third squads.
Even the reigning World Cup holders couldn’t make it past the Euro 2020 death squad with nine points under their belt, as Didier DeschampsThe ‘men were unable to replicate their day one performance against Germany in clashes with Hungary or Portugal in Group F.
The resilient Hungarians – who captured the hearts of the neutrals despite finishing last in the group – managed to take a point in their clash with France, while a record-breaking night for Cristiano Ronaldo saw the five-time Ballon d’Or winner cancel Karim Benzemahis own brace in a 2-2 draw on the final matchday.
A clean slate in Group F was always going to be a pipe dream for France, but Deschamps nonetheless saw his side take first place in the group to advance to the knockout stages for the third time in a row, although Hungary proved that the world champions are nowhere near the strength they were in Russia three years ago.
With Kylian Mbappé still struggling to find his shooting shoes amid lingering speculation about his future, Deschamps would do well to make the most of the Paris Saint-Germain forward lest France risk a disappointing Euro finish, although their last loss in competition was two years ago. .
The Blues’ 2-2 draw against Portugal on June 23 marked their 10th unbeaten game in all competitions since their shock loss to Finland last year, and although their favorite tag is still present, Switzerland have the right to believe that a surprise result might be theirs for the taking.
Despite all his difficulties at Liverpool, xherdan Shaqiri needed no extra motivation to produce the merchandise for his national team, as the 29-year-old’s brace put the Swiss on course for a resounding 3-1 success against an underperforming Turkey in the third day.
Haris Seferovicthe opening of ‘sa preceded the splint of Shaqiri – while Steven Zuber Also made headlines after scoring all three of their country’s goals that day – as Switzerland recovered from their draw with Wales and loss to Italy to advance to third place .
It was far from a vintage group stage campaign for Vladimir Petkovic, but the place in the round of 16 is all that matters for the Swiss, who have now reached the round of 16 in a major tournament four times in a row.
However, Switzerland have been sent to this point three times in a row at a World Cup or Euro since 2014, and although France’s somewhat disappointing results in the group stage are a positive reading, Petkovic will certainly sprinkle a dose of realism on his chances of a team before facing the world champions.
France and Switzerland played a scoreless stalemate at Euro 2016 – two years after the Blues lost 5-2 at the 2014 World Cup – and Switzerland are winless in this game since a friendly in 1992.
French European Championship form:
Form France (all competitions):
Swiss European Championship form:
Swiss form (all competitions):
The infirmary in France fills up at the worst time for Deschamps, who will have to manage without Ousmane Dembele for the remainder of the tournament, while Lucas Digne will also miss the round of 16 game.
Everton’s man lasted just seven minutes as a substitute against Portugal before being sent off, so Deschamps is desperate to recover Lucas Hernandez in time otherwise Leo Dubois or Adrien rabiot may need to fill in as an emergency left-back.
Marcus Thuram and Thomas Lemar also suffered minor injuries in training which they will try to get rid of before Monday, but Deschamps is unlikely to consider reshuffling his attacking contingent.
In contrast, Switzerland are well placed to name their strongest eleven for the round of 16 as Petkovic has no injury or suspension issues for the trip to Bucharest.
Remo Freuler has kept Denis Zakaria out of the squad so far and is expected to do it again here, and the only real dilemma for Petkovic is whether to start Kevin Mbabu or Silvan Widmer on the right side.
Shaqiri’s brace against Turkey saw him become Switzerland’s all-time top scorer at the Euro and World Cup combined, and a strike against the Blues would also see the Liverpool man overtake Of course (three) to become his country’s top scorer at the Euros.
Starting composition possible in France:
Lloris ; Pavard, Varane, Kimpembe, Hernandez; Kanté, Pogba, Tolisso; Griezmann; Mbappé, Benzema
Possible starting eleven for Switzerland:
Sommer ; Elvedi, Akanji, Rodriguez ; Widmer, Xhaka, Freuler, Zuber; Shaqiri; Embolo, Seferovic
We say: France 2-1 Switzerland
Switzerland should take advantage of France’s exhausted left side if Hernandez joins Digne on the sidelines of this game, but trying to keep Deschamps’ side silent on the other end of the pitch is the real challenge.
While we believe the Swiss – who have had the luxury of a few extra days off – can trouble France’s defense and find the back of the net, the Blues should still come out of it in the 90 minutes, but this will probably be a closer affair than some imagine.