Euro 2020: World Champions France clash with Switzerland in the last-16

France managed to win Group F despite winning only one match and drawing two, while Switzerland finished third in Group A.

The French team enjoying their final training session before facing Switzerland, Image credit: Twitter

Reigning World Cup champions France continue their Euro 2020 journey on Monday with a round of 16 showdown against Switzerland. These two nations will clash at the National Arena in Bucharest, Romania. The French side managed to win Group F despite winning only one match and drawing two, while Switzerland finished third in Group A with a 1W-1D-1L record. The French team are the heavy favourites but will look to find consistency in front of goal after scoring just two goals in the run of play in three games.

FRANCE HAVEN’T LOOKED LIKE WORLD CHAMPS

France came into the tournament as one of the favourites to go all the way. The hard-fought 1-0 win over Germany in the Group F opener sounded out their intentions. But Les Bleus haven’t quite hit top gear since and were held to back-to-back draws by Hungary (1-1) and Portugal (2-2), although they ended up topping the Group of Death to secure a place in the knockout stages.

Shockingly, PSG forward Kylian Mbappe is yet to score in the tournament. It’s time for Didier Deschamps to get him involved centrally. He’s drifted out wide and done well, but with the Swiss lacking speed in defence, he can star down the middle.

Expect him to be a bit more centrally early on, though he may drift out wide if the Swiss go with their usual three at the back. He and Karim Benzema have connected well, but if they are to truly contend, here is the time to show their combined production as things will toughen up considerable if they go through.

SWISS LOOKING FOR AN UPSET

A tall task for the Swiss. They’ll play reserved and hope to put something together on the counter. But also keep an eye on the threat they can pose from set pieces. Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka both have a sweet strike in them from range, and there is some height in this team to maybe ping in a goal off a corner. They won’t play an attractive style, but they’ll try to grind out a big upset.

Meanwhile, they were off to an underwhelming start in Group A, playing a 1-1 draw with Wales before they were handsomely beaten by Italy 3-0. Leaving them with all to do in their final game against Turkey. And, Vladimir Petkovic’s men rose to the occasion, winning 3-1 to finish third and earn a place in the round of 16 as one of the four best third-placed teams.

This will be the first meeting in five years between France and Switzerland, with their last encounter – a group game in the UEFA Euro 2016 ending in a goalless draw.

PREDICTED STARTING XI:

France Predicted XI (4-1-2-1-2): Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Kimpembe, Hernadez; Kante; Pogba, Rabiot; Griezmann; Benzema, Mbappe

Switzerland Predicted XI (3-4-1-2): Sommer; Elvedi, Akanji, Rodriguez; Mbabu, Freuler, Xhaka, Zuber; Shaqiri; Seferovic, Embolo




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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