Switzerland faces Spain
Switzerland faces Spain in Saint-Petersburg in the first 1/4-finals game from Euro 2020. Two inspired teams are going head to head in this beautiful Russian town, so let’s preview it in our free soccer tips daily. Are you ready?
Did anyone really believed this could even happen? Switzerland managed to beat all odds when they kicked off world champions France from the competition. This happened in the 1/8-finals when the Crusaders won against Les Bleus after penalties. The regular time ended with an exciting 3-3 draw, but after this Yann Sommer saved Kylian Mbappe’s penalty and sent his team to the 1/4-finals.
It was such an inspiring performance from Switzerland. They were two goals behind against France, and still managed to survive. Haris Seferovic scored twice in Hugo Lloris’ net while the substitute Mario Gavranovic went crazy after scoring a late equaliser in the 90th minute. It was such a crazy game at the Arena Nationala in the Romanian capital Bucurest.
It was an amazing night against France, but now Switzerland’s manager Vladimir Petkovic has a squad problem. It’s related to his charismatic captain Granit Xhaka who was awarded with the Man of the Match award against France. The Arsenal star is the heart of the Swiss team, but he’s suspended for the 1/4-finals clash against Spain. That’s a huge problem for Vladimir Petkovic because Xhaka is practically irreplaceable in the line-up. Now Petkovic must come out with an idea how to structure his line-up against La Roja without his captain.
Borussia M’gladbach’s Denis Zakaria is one of the players who can replace Xhaka against Spain while Mainz 05’s Edimilson Fernandes is another option for the Bosnian head coach. In Xhaka’ absence, Remo Freuler is the man who must take the responsibility in the midfield area and step up his game as much as possible. Xherdan Shaqiri will also have to get back as much as possible to help the central midfielders. In other words, Switzerland must do exactly what they did against France – make an example for true teamwork. The players must stay close to each other and help themselves all of the time.
Spain’s defense looks a little bit shaky right now and that’s Switzerland’s great chance. The Swiss side proved against France that they can score goals against the top teams. If Haris Seferovic makes another performance like this while Breel Embolo improve his, this could be a problem for La Roja. At the same time Switzerland have a very creative “number 10” as Xherdan Shaqiri who plays just behind the two strikers. The Crusaders’ left flank is particularly dangerous because Steven Zuber is making some solid matches since the beginning of the competition. He made a historical performance in the group stage where he delivered three assist in just one match. Zuber also assisted for Haris Seferovic’s first goal against France. He’s an extremely dangerous player for the opposition.
Spain also had to go through hell to reach the 1/4-finals of Euro 2020. La Roja faced World Cup finalists Croatia and they also made 3-3 in the regular time. Some fans expected penalties, but in the extra-time Luis Enrique’s team scored twice and won it with 5-3. It was Spain’s most dramatic game from many years.
The Spanish team proved to be a versatile one as five different players scored against Croatia. Pablo Sarabia, Cesar Azpilicueta and Ferran Torres scored in the regular time while Alvaro Morata and Mikel Oyarzabal scored the two decisive goals in the extra-time. It was an amazing experience for Spanish fans as Morata and Oyarzabal scored in just three minutes of time. Dani Olmo proved to be one of the key substitutions Luis Enrique made as he assisted for both goals during the extra-time.
It was an absolutely groundbreaking experience for Alvaro Morata to score such an important goal for Spain. The Juventus star is the most criticised player in the Spanish squad this summer. He even got death threats for him and his family. Some players would mentally crush under such weights on their shoulders, but Morata showed some heart and silenced his critics in the best way possible – with one of the most important goals in his career so far. Luis Enrique kept relying on him, and it was the right decision against Croatia.
Ferran Torres is another player who made huge impact against the Blazers. The Manchester City winger scored one of the goals in the game, but also assisted for the one scored by Cesar Azpilicueta. Ferran had a difficult first season in England, but right now he’s using the opportunity Luis Enrique gave him in the best way possible. Against Croatia Enrique started the game with two quick wingers on both flanks – Ferran Torres and Pablo Sarabia, and both scored for the team. It’s very likely to see the coach choosing the same tactics for the next game, too. Which is bad news for Gerard Moreno who will sit on the bench again.
It seems that one of the most important decisions Luis Enrique took during Euro 2020 is bringing Cesar Azpilicueta back in the line-up. The Chelsea captain missed the first two games of La Roja, but he started in the previous two. This made the Spanish team much more compact on the right flank. Azpilicueta made an assist during the 5-0 win against Slovakia and now scored one of the goals against Croatia. He instantly became a very important player.
That’s our free soccer tips daily for the Euro 2020 match between Switzerland and Spain in Saint-Petersburg. The Crusaders are full of confidence now after shockingly eliminating France from the competition. At the same time Spain are also becoming more and more confident after scoring 10 goals in their last two matches in the competition. The 1/2-finals are extremely close for both teams, so the motivation would be really high here. We expect a terrific game.