With a series of strong performances in the past four World Cups, hopes will be high that Switzerland will finally get a lucky break when they play in Russia this summer. The Swiss team showed some impressive form during their World Cup qualifiers, and most of their fans are expecting at least a quarter-final finish for the side.
But with a tricky Group E that includes the favourites, Brazil, it’s up for debate whether Switzerland can break their unlucky run at top-level football. So read our team guide to Switzerland and find out their chances of glory at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
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Switzerland prediction: How well will they do?
There’s a widespread opinion that the current Switzerland team are at the peak of their playing powers, and we can expect to see big things from a side with plenty to prove. However, they face a tough challenge in a very difficult Group E where they have to play against the likes of Brazil, Serbia and Costa Rica.
Switzerland’s opening game takes place against Brazil in Rostov on 17 June. This might be a case of damage limitation for an already defensive Swiss side, as Brazil have rediscovered their form and look odds-on to pick up the World Cup trophy. However, you have to remember that Switzerland shocked the world in the 2010 World Cup when then managed to beat Spain in their opening match. So whilst a Brazil win looks on the cards, you never truly know what’s going to happen when Switzerland play.
Once Switzerland have survived their ordeal with Brazil, then there’s no real let up as they have to travel to Kaliningrad to take on Serbia. This game on 22 June is a make or break match for the Swiss side, and whilst the Serbian team are ageing, they are packed with quality players who could make it difficult for Switzerland’s unremarkable attack. Despite this, we think that the relatively young Swiss team could have what it takes to out-pace Serbia, and so you should look out for great players like Xherdan Shaqiri to take command of this game.
Switzerland’s last Group E game takes place in Nizhny Novgorod on 27 June where they go head to head with Costa Rica. The Central American team will be hoping to emulate their outstanding performance of the 2014 World Cup, and whilst Costa Rica have changed since that tournament, they still represent a tough challenge for the Swiss team.
So do Switzerland have what it takes to put any goals past Costa Rica’s star goalkeeper, Keylor Navas? At the moment, BetBright are suggesting that Switzerland have a good chance of winning this match as you can get odds of 4/5 for the Swiss team to beat Costa Rica. And if you are feeling especially lucky, then BetBright are offering odds of 80/1 for Switzerland to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup outright.
Journey to the World Cup — Who did Switzerland beat to qualify?
Switzerland were unlucky not to win their World Cup qualifying group. Having managed to win their first nine qualifiers, they lost 2-0 to Portugal and were nudged into second place on goal difference. This was an unfortunate blow for the Swiss team as they began their qualifiers in great form with a commanding 2-0 win over the Euro 2016 champions, Portugal.
Although it wasn’t the toughest qualifying group, there was enough promising results such as their 5-2 home victory against Hungary, and their 3-0 away win against Latvia to suggest that Switzerland were looking newly energised. And thanks to a very controversial penalty decision and a stoppage time goal-line clearance, Switzerland managed to win their play-offs against Northern Ireland and sailed through to the 2018 World Cup finals.
Recently friendlies have revealed that Switzerland have lost none of their strong form with a 1-0 away win against Greece, and a 6-0 home thrashing of Panama. And with a couple of interesting warm-up matches against the likes of Spain and Japan scheduled for early June, it looks like Switzerland are keen to get started on what could be their biggest World Cup tournament yet.
Best players for Switzerland: Who should you be betting on?
There is little doubt that Xherdan Shaqiri has played a pivotal role in Switzerland’s qualifying campaign, and the winger’s exceptional skill can create havoc for any team. Whilst there can be a dependency for Switzerland to rely on the power of Shaqiri’s left foot, there are plenty more talented individuals to keep an eye on.
Much has been made of Switzerland’s defensive capabilities, and it’s thanks to rising stars like Manuel Akanji as well as experiences pros like Stephan Lichtsteiner that we can expect the Swiss team to hold out the formidable attack from sides like Brazil and Costa Rica.
Whilst Switzerland’s power in attack has sometimes been questioned, creative players like Steven Zuber and Granit Xhaka can quickly make a goalscoring opportunity out of nothing. So if you were looking to back a Swiss player to win the Golden Boot, then Betway are offering you odds of 150/1 for Xherdan Shaqiri, or 200/1 for Haris Seferovic to be the top goalscorer in Russia this summer.
Who manages Switzerland?
Vladimir Petkovic took over the Switzerland team after the 2014 World Cup, and he quickly took control of the side and helped them reach the final 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament. The former midfielder previously managed a series of Swiss clubs, before gaining valuable experience in control of the Italian team, Lazio.
Petkovic has been able to instil a great team spirit within the Swiss side, and with a good past record at previous tournaments, hopes will be high that Switzerland can finally get some kind of reward for their efforts. Whilst some might say that the hard-working Petkovic lacks the creativity to take Switzerland to the top, there is little doubting his love for the team and we can expect big things from his side.
Why bet on Switzerland?
Switzerland have routinely displayed exceptional form in top-level football tournaments only to blow it through silly errors or bad luck. The 2014 World Cup saw them comfortably beating Ecuador and Honduras, only to lose out against Argentina thanks to an extra-time goal from Angel Di Maria. Plus their Euro 2016 campaign spotlighted Xherdan Shaquiri’s exceptional skill, but was overshadowed by their brutal defeat on penalties against Poland.
There is little doubting the fact that Brazil will end up winning Group E, and so Switzerland will be locked in a battle for second place against Serbia and Costa Rica. Whilst both of these sides are packed with plenty of skilful players, there’s a team spirit in the Swiss side that could see them booking their place in the knock-out rounds. And with Betfred offering you odds of 80/1 for Switzerland going all the way to pick up the World Cup trophy, it seems that the time could be right for a change of luck for the Swiss team.