Football Features

Switzerland Euro 2020: Best players, manager, tactics, form and chance of winning

By Chris Smith

Published: 15:35, 26 June 2021 | Updated: 12:41, 28 June 2021

Switzerland headed into this summer’s European Championships looking to improve on a miserable record in the competition so far.

Rossocrociati have only graced the Euros on four previous occasions, first doing so in 1996 and missing just two of the following five editions (not including 2020). However, France 2016 represented the first time the Swiss have advanced beyond the group stages, reaching the round-of-16 before crashing out on penalties to Poland.

But Switzerland are a growing force in international football, as proven by their now-consistent appearances at major international tournaments, a run to the semi-finals of the inaugural Uefa Nations League in 2019, and qualification to the last-16 of Euro 2020.

CLICK HERE to claim • 18+ only • New customers only • Min deposit £10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager the bonus amount 40 times within 14 days • Casino Bonus expires after 60 days • Withdrawal restrictions, payment methods, country & full T&Cs apply • BeGambleAware

The best players Switzerland will bring to Euro 2020

Goalkeeper: Yann Sommer

With Roman Burki out of the picture since 2018, Yann Sommer has taken exclusive control of the No.1 jersey for Switzerland. First choice for Borussia Monchengladbach since 2014, Sommer has become one of the best shot-stoppers in the Bundesliga over the past seven years. Sure, the 32-year-old can sometimes be erratic when it comes to claiming crosses and commanding his box, but there a few goalkeepers with better reflexes than Sommer in Europe’s top five leagues, while he has considerable ability with the ball at his feet which provides Switzerland with a solid platform to build out from this summer.

Defender: Manuel Akanji

Speaking of building out from the back, few centre-backs do it better than Borussia Dortmund’s Manuel Akanji. – though he does have a tendency to lose concentration and find himself out of position at times, something that even Mats Hummels has not been able to drive out of him at club level. It helped Switzerland to an extent in the group stage and will definitely be of use in the knockout stages as the Swiss need to ensure they are calm on the ball.

Midfielder: Xherdan Shaqiri

While he’s found minutes hard to come by at Liverpool, Xherdan Shaqiri is still one of Switzerland’s most important players and a potential difference-maker for his nation this summer. The 29-year-old is fifth on Switzerland’s all-time caps list with 97, while his 25 goals are only bettered by six players, none of whom have represented the country since 2011.

Once a forward, Shaqiri is more often found in central midfield nowadays, where he can use his dribbling and passing to commit centre-backs, knocking them off balance, while his low centre of gravity means he can turn out of trouble at a moment’s notice. Shaqiri scored the equaliser as Switzerland took Poland to penalties at Euro 2016 and, since then, he has found the net at the 2018 World Cup and in the 2018/19 Uefa Nations League, and Euro 2020.

Forward: Haris Seferovic

While not exactly clinical, Haris Seferovic’s explosiveness and ability with the ball at his feet more than make up for what he’s missing in the 18-yard box. Indeed, the four seasons in which he has broken 10 league goals at club level (including the current one) are the only times the now-Benfica man has managed more than five strikes in a single campaign, but he’s fast approaching 40 assists in league play alone across his career so far. Seferovic is a superb hold-up player, able to battle off defenders and lay the ball off to his fellow forwards and midfield runners. Those skills are particularly important in getting the likes of Shaqiri and Breel Embolo into dangerous positions this summer, while Seferovic will also be expected to lead the Swiss press.

The manager: Vladimir Petkovic

An immensely experienced tactician having taken up management back in 1997, with spells at Lazio and Young Boys included during that time, Vladimir Petkovic has been in charge of Switzerland since July 2014.

During that time, the 57-year-old has guided Switzerland to consecutive round-of-16 appearances at the 2016 Euros and 2018 World Cup, while also guided them to fourth place in the inaugural Uefa Nations League, losing the third-place playoff on penalties to England after being knocked out in the semi-finals by eventual winners Portugal.

Switzerland’s previous major tournament line-up

vs Sweden (2018 World Cup round-of-16)

Though Sommer, Akanji, Shaqiri and Seferovic remain, there will be plenty of changes from the Switzerland side that crashed out of the 2018 World Cup against Sweden at the round-of-16 stage.

As they advance into their thirties, the likes of Johan Djourou, Michael Lang, Valon Behrami and Blerim Dzemaili have either retired from international duty or seen their roles within Petkovic’s squad greatly reduced.

The switch to a back-three, and the dominance in possession that brings, has also seen Nico Elvedi get much more game-time at centre-back, while Kevin Mbabu has emerged as an effective wing-back.

The tactics

Petkovic has heavily favoured close variants of 3-4-2-1 and 5-4-1 formations recently, transitioning between the two systems dependent upon whether Switzerland need to get numbers forward or stay compact and hard to break down. But at Euro 2020 he made a slight alteration, moving to a two-man strike force.

Akanji and Gladbach’s Nico Elvedi can provide the Swiss with a technically gifted platform in possession at centre-back, either side of the defensively impressive Fabian Schar, while in front of them, a rigid central midfield partnership of Granit Xhaka and Remo Freuler can provide extra security both through the middle and in allowing wing-backs Ricardo Rodriguez and Kevin Mbabu freedom to fly forward.

As mentioned, Seferovic operates as the target man through the middle, holding the ball up and providing space for the likes of Shaqiri and Embolo to wield their attacking might in the final third.

CLICK HERE to claim • 18+ only • New customers only • Min deposit £10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager the bonus amount 40 times within 14 days • Casino Bonus expires after 60 days • Withdrawal restrictions, payment methods, country & full T&Cs apply • BeGambleAware

The form guide

Euro 2020 qualifying: WDDWLWWW

Switzerland finished top of what proved to be a very competitive qualifying Group D, losing just once and picking up 17 points from their eight games. Petkovic’s side finished a point above Denmark in the other automatic qualifying spot, while they were four ahead of the Republic of Ireland in third.

Recent fixtures: WLDWWWWW

After qualifying for the Euros, Switzerland went through a bit of a rough patch, but they bounced back starting with a victory over Ukraine last November (which didn’t come on the pitch). They built off that and have now won six of their past eight games, only losing to Italy in Group A and reaching the Euro 2020 last-16 as one of the best third-placed teams.

Switzerland’s Euro 2020 odds

Unsurprisingly, Switzerland aren’t fancied to go all the way and actually win the Euros outright with a price of 66/1, having been drawn against France in the last-16. A shock win there would see Switzerland face Croatia or Spain, and any potential semi-final would bring one of Italy, Belgium, Portugal or Austria.

(Odds in this article are correct at the time of writing. 18+ only, BeGambleAware.org)