All about the Switzerland Team at Football World Cup 2018
After some years in the tournament wilderness during the 1980s and 1990s, Switzerland of today were always expected to qualify for the World Cup finals, and did so by finishing second in European Qualifying Group B, narrowly missing out on top stop on goal difference alone the impressive Portugal, followed by a tight and tense, and perhaps fortunate, playoff win to Northern Ireland. Now that they have cemented their place in the tournament, Vladimir Petkovic’s team will now be tested against the might of Brazil, the scoring potential of Serbia and plucky Costa Rica in Group E in their quest to get to the final 16.
Tips for Betting on Switzerland in the World Cup 2018
With no out and out striker who can produce the quantity of goals needed, the Swiss will be relying on their defence to keep the number of goals conceded down. Avoiding betting any top tournament scorers from the Swiss team, and focusing on tight draws and wins will be the best plan when betting on Switzerland.
There’s no easy start for the Swiss, as their first match sees them face Tite’s Brazil. As runaway winners in their qualifiers, Brazil will be confident in overcoming Petkovic’s men who struggle for goals with the lack of a quality striker. When faced with the likes of Neymar, Switzerland’s solid defence will be tested, but at 4/1 (decimal 5) the draw might be worth a punt.
The second match for the Swiss is against Serbia, who impressed in qualifying. Coming up against the arguably better opposition in their qualifying group and with an impressive scoring record with the likes of Southampton’s Dusan Tadic, the Serbs will be looking to score more than their Swiss counterparts who have struggled to notch up the goals. With a solid defence and impressive wingers, Switzerland will be hoping to plug the gap and get a winner from the flanks, so an outside bet on the Swiss to win 1-0 at 6-1 (decimal 7) could prove lucrative.
The third group game looks to be the most likely win for Switzerland to obtain. Facing Costa Rica, the Swiss will be looking to capitalise on the Central American’s weaknesses, and at 4/5 (decimal 1.8) for a Swiss win should be a safe bet. A punt on Switzerland to win at half time and full time would also be a confident choice at 15/8 (decimal 2.88). A bet on Switzerland to win the tournament outright is possibly a stretch too far, but at 4/5 (decimal 1.8) for the Swiss to qualify from their group it could be well worth a flutter.
Betting Odds on Switzerland to Win the World Cup 2018
Despite coach Petkovic’s confidence in his team, the current outright odds for Switzerland to win the World Cup are between 100/1 (decimal 101) and 66/1 (decimal 67), which puts them as outsiders. Switzerland’s core comprising of the 2009 Under 17 World Championship team should be reaching their peak and having have progressed as a unit and gathered tournament experience over the past eight years, they should be stronger than ever. However, in a group that includes a renewed Brazil, it’s never going to be an easy task to make it to the very end.
Expected Switzerland Lineup at the World Cup
For the playoff matches against Northern Ireland, the Swiss team was made up of Yann Sommer in goal and Stephan Lichtsteiner, Fabian Schär, Manuel Akanji and Ricardo Rodríguez in defence. The midfield consisted of the central pairing of Granit Xhaka and Denis Zakaria protecting the defence, with Xherdan Shaqiri, Blerim Dzemaili and Steven Zuber pushing forward. Haris Seferović leads the attack as the lone striker. It is fully expected that this will be the team to take on the world in Russia this summer, with the addition of statesman Valon Behrami in midfield, who was embroiled in a Club vs Country row involving his Italian club Udinese at the playoff stage of qualifying.
While Vladimir Petkovic may not have a broad range of players to choose from, he has a group of players who have bonded through their successes in the Under 23 World Championships and subsequent international tournaments with the full national side. The Swiss find creativity down the flanks thanks to the speed and skill of Xherdan Shaqiri and Steven Zuber, supported by impressive full-backs Stephan Lichtsteiner and Ricardo Rodríguez , who ply their trade in Serie A. However, this is their main outlet for producing chances and with little choice in a centre-forwards, Petkovic’s weak point comes from a lack of options up front with Seferović regularly playing up front alone. Fabian Schär and Manuel Akanji form the rocks in the centre of defence, making it difficult to break down the Swiss. Thanks to the flair of the Swiss wingers, Vladimir Petkovic’s preferred set up is a 4-5-1 formation, using the full width of the pitch to their advantage.
The star of the Swiss side has to to be Granit Xhaka. The 25-year-old Arsenal man has progressed through the Switzerland youth set up to the full squad along with a number of his national counterparts. Becoming an integral part of the Arsenal squad and a regular in his club team since his switch from Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2016, Xhaka runs the Swiss show from the centre of midfield. Converting defence into attack, Xhaka is key in getting balls out to the flanks to support the Switzerland surge forward and also pops up with impressive goals of his own.
Currently playing at Xhaka’s former club, Denis Zakaria from Borussia Mönchengladbach is one to watch in Russia this summer. The defensive midfielder is only 21 but has solidified his place in the national team and will be key in keeping out Neymar in their opener against Brazil.
The former West Ham and Watford man, Valon Behrami, is likely to feature in Russia as he begins his fourth straight World Cup with Switzerland. Now in the role of senior player, his absence in the qualifier against Portugal and playoff against Northern Ireland was noticeable and Petkovic will be hoping he will reprise his role as midfield leader this summer.