Switzerland lock horns against Poland in the round of 16 of Euro 2016 at the Stade Geoffroy Guichard in Saint-Etienne on Saturday.
Switzerland finished second in Group A as they qualified into the knock-out stage for the first time in last four attempts. They started their Euro 2016 campaign with a 1-0 win over Albania followed by a 1-1 draw against Romania and were held to a goalless draw with France in their final group stage fixture. They are one of the few teams who haven’t lost a match in the on-going Euro 2016 Tournament.
Recent history points toward the fact that the Swiss side have not won a knock-out match in a high profile tournament since 1938. They had outplayed Germany in the first round of the 1938 World Cup, but present Switzerland manager Vladimir Petkovic is hopeful of a positive result in Saturday’s clash against Poland and believes that his team has enough potential to beat Poland which will take them to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.
Poland finished on 7 points in Group C, same as Germany but they were handed the second spot on goal difference. Poland have also secured their place in the knock-out rounds for the first time and had never won a match in an European tournament prior to their 1-0 win over Northern Ireland in their opening group fixture at Euro 2016. They were held to a goalless draw with Germany followed by a 1-0 win over Ukraine in their final group stage fixture. Robert Lewandowski is yet to find the net the net in the tournament and manager Adam Nawalka is hopeful that their star striker will deliver when it matters the most.
Head to head statistics show that Poland have an upper hand in Saturday’s clash as the Polish side have lost just one game in their last 10 encounters with the Swiss. The last meeting between both the teams were in an international friendly, where neither side emerged victorious as the match ended in a 2-2 draw.
The winners of Saturday’s clash will face Portugal or Croatia in the quarter-finals at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille.
What Managers Said
Vladimir Petkovic (Switzerland): History is behind us. You don’t live on past achievements, we want to achieve something even more significant.
It’s a notable achievement but the first step forward was this, it was a minimum objective. We showed good play and held firm. We’ve already played Poland in a friendly, they’re an excellent side. We now need to recover our energy levels.
Adam Nawalka (Poland): We have prepared some information on Switzerland. They play at a high level and they’re one of the more interesting teams at this tournament but we have faith and optimism that we’ll go further.
Where to watch live
Kick-off is at 2pm BST. Live TV coverage of the game in the UK is available on BBC One. Radio commentary is available on BBC Radio 5 live. Live TV coverage in India is available on Sony Six and Sony ESPN, with mobile and online coverage available on SonyLiv. Kick-off is at 6.30pmIST (Saturday).
Possible XI: Sommer; Lichtsteiner, Djourou, Schar, Rodriguez; Xhaka, Dzemaili; Shaqiri, Behrami, Mehmedi; Embolo.
Possible XI: Fabianski; Piszczek, Glik, Pazdan, Jedrzejczyk; Blaszczykowski, Krychowiak, Maczynski, Kapustka; Milik; Lewandowski
Switzerland win: 11/5
Poland win: 13/8