What to watch out for in today's Switzerland vs Spain match
September 28, 2021
Europe Sport

What to watch out for in today’s Switzerland vs Spain UEFA EURO 2020 match

What’s the story?

“What a match! What an evening of football,” said goalkeeper Yann Sommer after saving Kylian Mbappé’s penalty to win Switzerland’s round of 16 shoot-out against France; their first win at a knockout tournament since the 1938 FIFA World Cup, and the greatest night in Swiss footballing history. Vladimir Petković’s had apologised for his side’s performance after their 3-0 group stage loss to Italy; after their 3-3 draw against Les Bleus in Bucharest, they can do no wrong.Switzerland vs Spain: who will reach the semi-finals?

Spain played with fire in the round of 16, letting a 3-1 lead slip against Croatia before finally finishing off Zlatko Dalić’s side in extra time. Luis Enrique’s squad started off the group stage with two draws, but have hit a stride of sorts, becoming the first side to score five goals in back-to-back EURO finals games. Confidence is building, but Sergio Busquets will remember that when Spain last met the Swiss at a final tournament, they lost 1-0 in their 2010 World Cup opener in Durban.

Where to watch the game on TV

Fans can find their local UEFA EURO 2020 broadcast partner(s) here.Volume 0%00:0000:00 When Switzerland and Spain met last year

Predicted line-ups

Switzerland: Sommer; Elvedi, Akanji, Rodríguez; Widmer, Freuler, Zakaria, Zuber; Shaqiri; Embolo, Seferović
Suspended: Xhaka
Misses next match if booked: Akanji, Elvedi, Embolo, Gavranović, Mbabu, Rodríguez, Schär

Spain: Unai Simón; Azpilicueta, Eric García, Laporte, Alba; Koke, Busquets, Pedri; Sarabia, Morata, Ferran Torres
Suspended
: none
Misses next match if booked: Jordi Alba, Busquets, Pau Torres, Rodri

Reporters’ views

Vieri Capretta, Switzerland reporter: History has been made, but history never stops being made. Switzerland want to get to Wembley and after eliminating the world champions, they have every right to keep believing. Vladimir Petković has hit on a great system and starting XI and (though captain Granit Xhaka is suspended) his side will have a similar outlook as they take on Spain: play to Switzerland’s strengths and make the most of Spain’s weaknesses.Volume 0%00:0000:00 Watch Swiss celebrate shoot-out win

Graham Hunter, Spain reporter: Even a Spain side capable of ten goals in their last two matches will not look on Switzerland as straightforward quarter-final rivals. Their two recent Nations League meetings were intensely tight with a 1-1 draw in Basel and a 1-0 win for Spain a month earlier in October 2020. The two previous results? A 1-1 friendly draw and that infamous 1-0 Switzerland win at the 2010 World Cup. Is this a irresistible force vs immovable object match? Do penalties loom?

View from the camps

Vladimir Petković, Switzerland coach: “The next step is always the most important. We want to make it to the next round, even if we’re facing one of the favourites in Spain. We need to show our hunger on the pitch and I’m confident they will. We will miss a player like Xhaka a lot but what I want to see against Spain is that everyone gives a little more, not just to replace him but also to beat Spain. We want to progress, with all the respect for the opponent. Xhaka will take a different role but everyone in the squad will support and help the team.”

Xherdan Shaqiri, Switzerland midfielder: “I am very proud to lead the team in such an important match, and I want to show my skills and help the team. We have shown that we don’t only defend and can score more than one goal. If we show our football on the pitch, everything is possible. It doesn’t mean I have had a bad game if I don’t score or provide an assist, as I help out a lot defensively and that is important for the team.”Volume 0% Watch Morata’s extra-time stunner for Spain

Luis Enrique, Spain coach: “It’s going to be a very complicated match. As a group, for how they attack and defend, they are a very good team and I predict a very difficult game for us … I expect very similar tactics from what Mr Petković used against us in the Nations League. They are opponents that don’t gamble on throwing everything at you, that know exactly what they are doing. They attack and defend well, they play really well as a team and they make matches difficult for their opponent.”

Aymeric Laporte, Spain defender: “I don’t think we defended badly against Croatia. Obviously there were things we could have done better. We rewatched it looking for specifics. You mention letting in three goals, but one of them was our own error – nothing we can do to prevent that. One of their other goals was terrific – just like we did brilliantly in ours! That’s football. The key lies in our specific, well-defined style of play. We’ve developed it and once we have begun to score goals, we simply have to follow that line of performance.”

Unai Simón, Spain goalkeeper: “The quarter-final is down to us, not our opponents. It wouldn’t matter if it were France, the Swiss, Ukraine – we are here to win, so we have to face and beat the best.”

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