Football Features

Switzerland vs Spain team news, expected lineups and predictions | Euro 2020

By Chris Smith

Published: 10:55, 2 July 2021

Switzerland and Spain will battle it out for a place in the Euro 2020 semi-finals when they meet in Saint Petersburg on Friday at 5pm (UK time).

After a relatively uninspiring group stage, Spain were taken all the way to extra-time by Croatia in the Round of 16, eventually running out 5-3 winners after blowing a 3-1 lead late on in normal time.


Switzerland v Spain odds with William Hill

  • Switzerland to win in 90 minutes: 24/5
  • Draw in 90 minutes: 13/5
  • Spain to win in 90 minutes: 4/6

Odds in this article are correct at the time of writing. 18+ only. BeGambleAware.Org


Switzerland, meanwhile, pulled off the shock of the tournament so far, knocking out reigning world champions and pre-tournament favourites France on penalties after a 3-3 draw. Vladimir Petkovic’s side looked to have blown their chance after missing a penalty to go 2-0 up, before going 3-1 down. But a remarkable late comeback laid the foundations for their first-ever major tournament shootout victory.

Can Switzerland upset the odds again? Or will Spain assert their dominance to reach the final four?

Switzerland vs Spain team news & possible XIs

Switzerland

The suspension of Granit Xhaka has dealt a huge blow to Switzerland after the Arsenal man put in an immense midfield performance against France in the last round.

Spain

Jose Luis Gaya and David de Gea are both fitness doubts for Spain, though it’s unlikely Luis Enrique would have started either of them anyway, despite Unai Simon’s awful mistake against Croatia.

Busquets’ influence on Euro 2020 so far

As if the effect of Xhaka’s absence on Switzerland needed any more illustration, the 28-year-old is now behind only Zinedine Zidane, Andrea Pirlo (both 4), Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta (both 6) in terms of Man of the Match awards at the Euros, having picked up his third prize for his excellent last-16 performance against France.

But with Xhaka out, Switzerland will be right up against it as they try to win the midfield battle, especially against a team like Spain. And speaking of Man of the Match awards, should Sergio Busquets scoop the individual prize again here, he’ll become the first-ever player to win the award in three consecutive games at the Euros, while also joining his Swiss counterpart, Xhaka, on three overall.

In a team lacking the star quality of their 2008-12 counterparts, it’s no surprise to see Spain’s best performances have been since the Barcelona veteran returned to the starting line-up against Slovakia and Croatia after sitting out draws with Sweden and Poland.

Against Slovakia, he won all three of his aerial duels and created two chances while, against Croatia, he made a match-high six tackles and completed 90% of his 97 attempted passes. All enough to earn the Man of the Match award in both matches.

“Busquets’ game was a manual of how to play as a pivote, in both attacking and defensive situations,” Enrique said after the Slovakia game.

“We know the importance of Busi for the group. Today, the poor guy ended up exhausted, but I am delighted for him. He is not very well understood by many people, maybe because he has been around for so long and people are tired of him, but he is unique. Unique, and a guarantee.”

Switzerland vs Spain scoreline prediction

Switzerland 1-3 Spain: Switzerland were absolutely incredible in their penalty shootout win over France, coming from 3-1 down to take the world champions all the way through extra-time. But surely, lighting cannot strike twice? Spain endured a scare of their own against Croatia but displayed enough attacking prowess to prove they’re back on track at this tournament.