Switzerland vs France Preview
Switzerland and France lock horns at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador knowing very well that defeat for either side could potentially set up a difficult Round of 16 tie against Argentina. Haris Seferovic came off the bench to save Switzerland’s blushes as he tapped home a Ricardo Rodriguez cross from close range deep into injury time, while France were convincing in their 3-0 demolition of 10 man Honduras, who lost Wilson Palacios in the early stages.
Karim Benzema scored a couple of goals as the sizzling combination play between the likes of Valbuena, Pogba and Griezmann proved to be too hot for the feisty Hondurans. But Switzerland’s pace on the counter attack will prove to be a constant menace for the French as the likes of Shaqiri and Xhaka have the ability to cut open defences. Switzerland’s winner infact was the result of a magnificently orchestrated counter attack with Rodriguez, the attacking left back, who set up both their goals, at the heart of it. As Ecuador’s Arroyo missed a golden chance at the other end, Switzerland broke quickly to clinch the game in the 93rd minute. And the France backline will have to be on their toes against a Swiss side more than capable of springing a surprise.
Les Blues have started their campaign brightly and will be looking to build on their winning start against a Swiss side who looked shaky at the back against Ecuador. Didier Deschamps has no fresh injury concerns to worry him as Yohan Cabaye is set to be fit for the match despite missing a training session earlier in the week. France will look to bury the demons of the past and put their 2010 World Cup campaign behind them, a tournament which saw the France camp represent a scene of recrimination, mutiny and revolt.
The match promises to be a fascinating one, and so much will depend on the midfield duo of Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi and Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema upfront. The La Decima winner may not be the quickest geezer in the world, but he sure knows where the goal is. And at the highest level, that is all that counts.
Switzerland vs France Match Facts:
- Switzerland have not beaten France since 1992, when they snatched a 2-1 friendly win.
- The last three meetings between the two have been drawn.
- Switzerland-France is the 250th World Cup match between European teams.
- The next French World Cup goal will be their 100th.
- Previous meetings: This is the 37th meeting between the two countries. France lead the head-to-head series by 15 victories to 12, with the other nine games having ended in draws.
- Last meeting: 13 June, 2006, Stuttgart, Germany, World Cup group stage – France 0 Switzerland 0.
Facts compiled from uk.eurosport.yahoo.com
Switzerland vs France Predicted Lineups:
Switzerland: Benaglio; Lichtsteiner, Djourou, Von Bergen, Rodriguez; Inler, Behrami; Shaqiri, Stocker, Xhaka; Drmic.
France: Lloris; Debuchy, Varane, Sakho, Evra; Cabaye, Matuidi, Pogba; Valbuena, Benzema, Griezmann.
Switzerland vs France Prediction:
France should have enough in the tank for a Swiss side vulnerable at the back. Defeat for either nation would most probably doom them with a tie against Argentina in the next round, a prospect both will look to avoid. France 2-1 for me!