Germany celebrate taking the lead against Spain. | Matthias Hangst/Getty Images
Germany will be looking to return to winning ways on Sunday, as they cross the border to face Switzerland at St. Jakob-Park.
Die Mannschaft were seconds away from opening their Nations League campaign with a win, via a narrow 1-0 win over Spain. However, the visitors equalised in the 97th-minute through José Luis Gayà, as it ended all square late on in Stuttgart.
?? Haris Seferović has scored 6 goals in 7 #NationsLeague games ? pic.twitter.com/2oCmNXFK2O
— UEFA Nations League (@EURO2020) September 3, 2020
Switzerland also failed to win on the opening matchday, falling to a disappointing defeat against Ukraine. Despite Haris Seferović drawing the Schweizer Nati level to cancel out Andriy Yarmolenko’s opener, a superb effort from Oleksandr Zinchenko condemned the Swiss to a 2-1 loss in western Ukraine.
This will be Switzerland’s first meeting with Germany for eight years, when they sealed an impressive 5-3 win in a friendly in Basel. Another goal-filled encounter would be welcomed by neutrals, but it is a must-win game for both Vladimir Petković and Joachim Löw.
When Is Kick Off? Sunday 6 September
What Time Is Kick Off? 19: (BST)
Where Is it Played? St. Jakob-Park, Basel
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports Football (UK), fuboTV (US)
ℹ️ @kaihavertz29 has left the team hotel in Stuttgart. #DieMannschaft pic.twitter.com/KyY7dmmjxc
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) September 4, 2020
Despite being called up for September’s Nations League fixtures, Kai Havertz has left Germany’s team hotel ahead of his impending move to Chelsea. The German starlet looks all but certain to complete his transfer to west London, meaning he will all but miss out in Sunday’s key clash.
Elsewhere, Löw is still without his Bayern Munich quartet of Manuel Neuer, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry, while Marc-André ter Stegen and Marco Reus are both injured.
Switzerland were without several injured players when naming their squad, including Liverpool forward Xherdan Shaqiri. The Swiss star has now missed their last six games, with his place in Petković’s setup looking in peril ahead of EURO 2020 next summer.
The Nati are also missing Fabian Schär, Denis Zakaria, Remo Freuler, Admir Mehmedi and Cedric Itten, who all have respective injuries. Eray Cömert, François Moubandje and Edimilson Fernandes were all dropped, leaving a number of gaping holes in the Swiss squad.
Switzerland: Sommer; Elvedi, Akanji, Rodríguez; Mbabu, Sow, Xhaka, Steffen; Embolo, Seferović, Vargas.
Germany: Trapp; Can, Süle, Tah; Kehrer, Gündoğan, Kroos, Gosens; Draxler; Sané, Werner.
Switzerland celebrate their goal against Ukraine. | ANATOLII STEPANOV/Getty Images
Switzerland’s loss to Ukraine was a first defeat in four games, following three wins on the bounce towards the end of last year. Nonetheless, it means that the Nati have won just once away in their last six outings, including their Nations League finals defeats to Portugal and England.
While away form has proved to cost the Swiss, they can be a formidable force at home. Switzerland are unbeaten in their last 16 competitive games at home, a remarkable run stretching all the way back to November 2014. With Belgium and Portugal among those to have been beaten in recent years, there is every chance that Germany could join that list.
Germany celebrate scoring against Spain. | Matthias Hangst/Getty Images
Germany are now unbeaten in six games, though should have made it four consecutive wins were it not for the late Spanish equaliser. The Germans have lost only one of their previous nine competitive fixtures, in a 4-2 defeat to the Netherlands last September.
Die Mannschaft are fortunate to be back in League A, as the competition reform saw their relegation blushes from the previous edition spared. They will be eager to improve their Nations League track record, pushing for the top spot and a place in next year’s finals.
Miroslav Klose (left) and Gökhan Inler (right) in Switzerland’s last meeting with Germany. | PATRIK STOLLARZ/Getty Images
Germany will go into the game as favourites on paper, but Switzerland can truly perform on their day against Europe’s finest. The added incentive of securing their first wins of the new Nations League campaign is huge, and will certainly contribute to an exciting clash at St. Jakob-Park.
Switzerland showed strength going forward but were extremely vulnerable in defence, while a string of mistakes all game meant Germany struggled to really control the game.
Prediction: Switzerland 1-1 Germany
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