Wales vs Switzerland Prediction
Day 2 of Euro 2020 will kick off when Wales and Switzerland meet at Baku Olympic Stadium. A win here would be huge as Italy jumped out to a 3-point lead with a 3-0 win over Turkey.
- Wales: Tale of the Tape
- Projected XI: Ward; Mepham, Rodon, Davies; Roberts, Allen, Ampadu, Williams; Bale, Wilson, James
- Form: L-W-W-L-D
The Welsh managed to win Group B at Euro 2016, but it will be difficult to duplicate that success this summer. Manager Rob Page returns only a third of that successful squad, but those are key cogs nonetheless.
Danny Ward will start in goal with Bournemouth’s Chris Mepham, and the Tottenham pairing of Joe Rodon and Ben Davies forming the three-man central defensive unit. The three centre-backs will look to remain compact at the back, cutting off the space for the Switzerland frontline to work around.
Up ahead in midfield, Aaron Ramsey will be leaned on for creativity, but he’s set to miss the opening matchup. Stoke City’s Joe Allen will sit deep, while out wide, Swansea’s Connor Roberts and Liverpool’s Neco Williams will line up as the wing-backs. During the defensive phases, though, they will drop deep to create a back five.
Wales attack will consist of Man U’s Daniel James, Cardiff City’s Harry Wilson, and Tottenham’s Gareth Bale. Wilson will retain his false nine role, with Bale and James being the two wide men. Bale will captain his 93rd appearance, which leaves only Ryan Giggs between him and the record. The former Real Madrid man netted 11 goals in his return to Tottenham.
- Switzerland: Tale of the Tape
- Projected XI: Sommer; Elvedi, Akanji, Schar; Mbabu, Xhaka, Freuler, Rodriguez; Shaqiri; Gavranovic, Seferovic
- Form: W-W-W-W-Vladimir Petkovic’s team will enter Euro 2020’s in excellent form, carrying a five-match unbeaten streak.
Yann Sommer will take his place between the sticks, with the three-man central defensive unit of Newcastle’s Fabian Schar, Dortmund’s Manuel Akanji, and Monchendladbach’s Nico Elvedi providing cover for him. Longtime wing-back Stephan Lichtsteiner retired, which leaves Wolfsburg’s Kevin Mbabu and Torino’s Ricardo Rodriguez to be the two wing-backs, with the duo’s distribution carrying a bit of threat with two big strikers hovering up top.
Arsenal stud Granit Xhaka’s and Atalanta man Remo Freuler will look to keep things tight in the middle of the pitch while initiating swift transitions. Xherdan Shaqiri didn’t play a lot of club football this season, but his creativity and speed still hold value for the Swiss. Shaqiri was in peak form at the 2018 World Cup and he scored the winning goal in a thriller with Serbia.
Finally, the strike partnership will be formed by Benfica’s Haris Seferovic and Zagreb’s Mario Gavranovic. Seferovic has been a full-time international since 2013, and after netting 22 goals for Benfica, he’ll make his 75th cap for the Swiss. Gavranovic netted a career-high 17 goals for Zagreb, leading to a first-place finish and a Croatian Cup win.
Players to Watch
The captain is set to make his 100th cap this summer, and he will be the best player on the pitch for both teams tonight. He’s scored in every major tournament for the Swiss, and if he can dictate the flow of this game, it may result in a great start for Switzerland.
Bale may no longer be the same player he was at Madrid, but the captain still represents a threat to the opposition. The Welch must play threw him if they look to win.
Wales vs Switzerland Prediction & Pick
Group F may be the group of death, but Group A represents a degree of difficulty itself. This group feels bound to be dominated by draws, as Italy may appear as favorites, but Turkey, Wales, and Switzerland all represent threats capable of stealing points. Switzerland, likewise, have the ability to beat any team and head into this contest on a six-match unbeaten streak. Look for Switzerland to start the tournament the right way, and bet on them to beat Wales.
Prediction: Wales 1 – Switzerland 1