Best Odds: 4/11
Another international break is upon us and yet despite the apathy that tends to create from domestic football fans, there are some important steps to be taken on the Road to UEFA Euro 2021. Still, while there are playoff games to be settled, the UEFA Nations League is still taking place as teams across the continent attempt to build some momentum prior to the aforementioned showpiece next year. Today, we’ll be taking a look at what is bound to be an interesting clash between Spain and Switzerland this weekend.
While Spain may have been able to win three straight tournaments from 2008 to 2012, it’ll have been almost a decade since they last lifted silverware by the time Euro 2021 rolls around. They’ve got a nice blend of experience and youth coming through the system and if they can piece those two things together well enough, they’re always going to be viewed as one of the leading contenders to take home the crown at any major international tournament.
Carvajal is the biggest absence for the Spanish through injury with Navas being tipped to get the nod in his place. Elsewhere, Ruiz will not be able to meet up with the squad after Napoli put their squad into quarantine.
For years now the Swiss have been viewed as dark horses at the international level but for whatever reason, they just haven’t been able to keep up with the big boys. They’ve been consistent at the back and consistent going forward but there’s no sign of them being able to blend those elements together at a World Cup or at the Euros. Still, they always live in hope, and finishing above Denmark in the qualifiers was a great place to start.
Shaqiri’s return will serve as a big boost for Switzerland after a second test for COVID-19 came back negative. Akanji is still out due to the virus, though, with the only other issue being Renato Steffen who will be injured for a game that could see some experimentation on both sides.
Factors to Consider
Switzerland won Group D with 17 points from eight games whereas Spain won Group F with 26 points from 10 games.
Spain have won three and drawn three of their last six games.
Switzerland have won three, drawn one and lost two of their last six games.
Spain have scored 18 goals and conceded two in their last six games.
Switzerland have scored 12 goals and conceded six in their last six games.
We think that this is going to look like a really entertaining exhibition game with neither team really going out of their way to make much of an impact. They both recognise the value of maintaining the health and fitness of their respective squads and for that reason, it should be quite free-flowing with very minimal stoppages. In the end we’re backing Spain to edge out a narrow 1-0 win, but it won’t be much to write home about.
Best Odds: 4/11