Euro Betting: France vs Switzerland
Round of 16 | 28 June | Bucharest
Their Euros So Far
A lot of people’s favourites at Euro 2020, France have showed flashes of their quality as they now enter the round of 16. Part of a group that included Hungary, Germany, and reigning European champions Portugal, the French can arguably be forgiven for not storming into the knockout rounds, but nonetheless, they look more than equipped to go deep into the tournament.
For the Swiss, they were unlucky not to get more than a point in their opener against Wales, whilst the 3-0 defeat to Italy was humbling. Fortunately for Vladimir Petkovic’s men, they turned their Euro tournament around with a 3-1 victory over Turkey. Captain, Xherdan Shaqiri was vital in the win, scoring two goals to help the Swiss progress.
He and his teammates will need to be in top form to be in with a chance against Didier Deschamps’ men, but in spite of the seemingly pan-European French hype, it should not be forgotten that Switzerland are 13th in the FIFA rankings, a sure sign of quality and an elite level football team.
Euro Squad News
Although France have suffered injuries coming into this game, they do boast a squad of enviable depth across all positions, so they do remain in a strong position to put out a more than effective team against Switzerland.
The most significant expected change for the French lies in the notion that they will be playing three at the back for the first time this tournament. The expected three of Raphael Varane, Clement Lenglet, and Presnel Kimpembe last played the formation together for a 2-0 win over Albania in November 2019.
Lucas Digne, Marcus Thuram and Jules Kounde will not be available for the game.
For Switzerland, Petkovic is apparently set to name the same starting XI that beat Turkey. Elvedi has fully recovered and will join Akanji and Rodríguez at the back. Zuber and Widmer should have the edge over the others on the wings. Shaqiri will provide the quality in the hole behind the two strikers.
There has been a long history of fixtures between the European neighbours, with France winning 16 to Switzerland’s 12, but there has also been a quite substantial 10 draws, including four of the past five meetings.
The last encounter was a 0-0 draw in the Euro 2016 group stage, but before that at the 2014 World Cup, France ran out 5-2 winners, with Karim Benzema giving a goalscoring and ‘Man of the Match’ performance. Could the Real Madrid man repeat that feat here?
Prior to those two games, there were also three draws across the 2006 World Cup and its preceding qualifying games, plus a 3-1 France win at Euro 2004. A vintage French side with Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henry scoring in that game.
So, will France continue to justify their ‘favourites’ tag? Or will Switzerland be primed for an upset?