Wales, the 2016 semi-finalist had a magical run in the last UEFA European Championship. Switzerland, a consistent threat in many tournaments. This matchup will be played in Baku, Azerbaijan at 9am EST on Saturday June 12th.
This will be the 2nd game in Group A. The first being Turkey v Italy on Friday June 11th.
From Wales’s magical run in the 2016 Euros, only 8 players from that squad remain including Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey. But this shouldn’t be that scary for the Welsh team. They ended qualification on a 5 game unbeaten streak.
One big problem with Wales is they lost their manager Ryan Giggs due to an impending court case. With Rob Page as the interim coach they have definitely lacked more of an offensive threat that they had under Giggs, but their defense has looked very good against teams around the ranking of Switzerland.
Garreth Bale will be the most important player for Wales during the tournament and for sure in this group stage. Bale has had many injury problems the last few seasons, but during this season while on loan at Tottenham he played well; Scoring 11 goals in 20 games. Ending the season with a hat-trick against Sheffield United definitely has Bale in high spirits and should have fans excited.
Switzerland doesn’t play the most beautiful football. Playing with a 5 defender system usually as a 5-2-1-2. Switzerland was knocked out in the knockout stage or the round of 16 at the 2016 tournament in a penalty shootout versus Poland.
The Swiss are for sure the more talented team in this matchup. Having some very experienced players on their side such as Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri, Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka and Yann Sommer and having some good young players such as Denis Zakaria and Borussia Dortmund’s Manuel Akanji.
One of the key players for the Swiss will be Haris Seferovic. Seferovic, a striker for Benfica had 22 goals in 31 league matches.
The main tactic that will be very important for the Swiss is the high press they play. When not on the ball the Swiss will be trying to win the ball back very quickly and set up their slow paced possession offense with their wing backs going up and down the wide portions of the field.
Daniel James and Garreth Bale will need to be able to use their pace and great dribbling abilities to score on the counter attack if they want to win this game.
- Wales: 1
- Switzerland: 1
I think this game will be a 1-1 draw with Switzerland scoring a first half goal and control most of the first half. Wales will be trying to counter a lot this game and Daniel James’s pace will prove very important and set up Gareth Bale for a goal to tie the game up for a draw.