Switzerland vs Italy Team News, Lineups and Predictions
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Switzerland vs Italy Team News, Lineups and Predictions

29/06/24 05:39

Switzerland take on reigning champions Italy in the first round of 16 match at EURO 2024 in Berlin.

Murat Yakin’s side secured their position in the knockout stages after drawing 1-1 with Germany on Sunday. If it wasn’t for Niclas Füllkrug’s 92nd minute equaliser, the Swiss would’ve won group A and have gone on to play against Denmark in the later fixture on Saturday, but it wasn’t meant to be. Despite only winning one match in the group stage, the Rossocrociati have shown promise in attack. They have yet to keep a clean sheet, but with the style of play they will be facing, it’s very likely that this game will be low scoring.

This is the sixth major international tournament in a row in which Switzerland have reached the knockout stages of, a run which is currently only bettered in Europe by France who are on seven. However, the last EUROs match that they lost in 90 minutes was against Italy back in 2021 in the group stage, where it ended 3-0 to the Azzurri.

Previous success has come for Switzerland in the round of 16 of the EUROs, most recently back at EURO 2020 when they knocked out tournament favourites France in a penalty shootout. If they were to progress from this stage they would be knocking out a top side once again - the reigning champions, Italy.

Luciano Spalletti’s side will be attempting to improve on their somewhat underwhelming performances in the group stage. Whilst they have shown that they have a clear game plan, it hasn’t necessarily always gone well for the Azzurri. Having only won one match so far in this competition, against Albania, it could be time for Spalletti to switch up his tactics and become more forward thinking.

The showings against Spain and Croatia were poor, and even though they were unlucky to concede an own goal against La Roja and lose 1-0, they failed to create more than one big chance of their own throughout the entire 90 minutes. As for the game against Croatia, Italy got lucky to bail themselves out in the 98th minute after Lazio’s Mattia Zaccagni equalised, but they played very poorly that match and the Vatreni were unfortunate to walk away with only one point.

So far it has been clear that Italy’s plan has been to shut down the opposition’s attackers, but they need to remember the attacking talent of their own and use it to its full potential. The likes of Federico Chiesa, Gianluca Scamacca and Lorenzo Pellegrini (the side’s starting front three for this tournament) are yet to get on the scoresheet, and now would be the perfect time to do it.

Swtizerland Team News

With midfielder Silvan Widmer suspended after receiving two yellow cards in the group stage, there will be at least one change being made to the starting 11 by Yakin. There are no fresh injuries to the Swiss camp so you wouldn’t expect many other changes.

After playing 65 minutes of the match against Germany it is clear to see that forward Breel Embolo has nicely recovered from his lengthy ACL injury, and he should be able to play for a similar length of time on the pitch again.

Italy Team News

Federico Dimarco has been ruled out of the fixture after taking part in individual training sessions this week. It is thought to be a minor issue and he should be ok to continue the tournament if Italy make it through to the quarter-finals.

Spalletti also faces the issue of a suspension in the form of Bologna centre-back Riccardo Calafiori who received his second yellow of the group stage in their draw with Croatia on Monday. He is likely to be replaced in the backline by Gianluca Mancini, but with the way Calafiori has been playing in this tournament, it is no doubt he will be returning to the starting lineup after serving his one match ban.

In terms of forwards, Spalletti has struggled to find a striker who has worked well with the team and performed in front of goal, but you would expect him to revert to having ex-West Ham man Scamacca up front alongside Chiesa and Pellegrini.

Switzerland vs Italy head-to-head results

The two sides have faced each other 28 times in all competitions, with Italy winning on 14 occasions, Switzerland winning three times, and 11 ending in a draw. The most recent clash being a World Cup qualifier back in November 2021 which ended in a draw after Silvan Widmer and Giovanni Di Lorenzo each scored a goal for their country to make it a 1-1 finish.

Switzerland vs Italy prediction

Switzerland 0-1 Italy

Whilst Italy are favourites to go through, it won’t be a straightforward win for them. Switzerland will push forward and test the Italian defence, but Spalletti’s side will be set up ready to control possession and shut down any chances the Swiss create. This game should be quite tight and considering the recent results for Italy and the way that they play, you wouldn’t expect there to be more than one or two goals, if any. History of this fixture also suggests that Italy should come out of this clash on top, with them being unbeaten in their last 11 matches against the Rossacrociati.

Interestingly, no team has gone to extra-time in more World Cup and EUROs matches than Italy (21 times), so perhaps we could see the deciding goal come in extra-time…

Whoever wins this fixture will go on to face the winner of England vs Slovakia in the Quarter-Finals in Düsseldorf next Saturday.

Benji Kosartiyer
Journalist
Lily Perrill

Writer

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