Spain, admittedly, have just scored 10 times split evenly across their past two matches.no team has ever done that in the history of the European Championship
Spain’s previous matches
As most people know, Spain lead Group B with 5 points after 2 games. This includes 2 points from a 1-1 draw against Italy. There was also a comfortable 3-0 win over Albania. But Spain did not play the easiest of the two matches for them. In fact, the ball barely crossed the halfway line in the first half, and it only got a bit more interesting in the second half, as Spain eventually cruised to a 3-0 win. It is hard to call a 3-0 win a bad result, but it certainly wasn’t easy. In fact, it wasn’t even very good. Spain’s next match is on June 19 against Israel. Their group stage finale is against world cup co-hosts, Russia, on June 26. They have the kind of game-day schedule that does not allow for them to take their foot off the gas. Switzerland Vs.
Switzerland’s previous matches
Mexico Vs. Switzerland, Sunday 15th June Brazil Vs. Switzerland, Sunday 15th June Mexico Vs. Switzerland, Sunday 15th June Serbia Vs. Switzerland, Wednesday 17th June Switzerland: An Identity Crisis Despite these impressive stats, Switzerland’s main problem remains the obvious one; they are a team without an identity. Against Spain, the results may be favourable, but the performances have been far from convincing. Team manager Vladimir Petkovic has tried numerous tactical variations in an attempt to get the best out of his side. Aside from winning, his main aim is to provide a competitive game for the next generation of Swiss players who have never had the opportunity to play in a major tournament like the European Championship.
Spain are a complete football team. Pep Guardiola is not here, but if he was here in the dugout he would undoubtedly manage to squeeze everything into his team. His main man will be Andres Iniesta, who was absolutely sublime against Colombia. He showed great vision and creativity, and is a player that can beat any defenders. Iniesta is also an excellent finisher, scoring his 50th international goal in a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Not only that, but there is also Cesc Fabregas. If you thought Spain were boring without the ball, watch Fabregas – a true ball player. He operates just behind Iniesta and can use the ball to great effect. Fabregas is almost a one-man show at times, and is likely to score goals. The spine of the team is really strong.
Strikers: Credit to the Swiss midfield for its defensive discipline, in particular holding players Dani Alves and Sergio Busquets, even if both of those are far from their best form, to prevent them from producing something fluky. However, the Swiss midfield is far more enterprising than the Brazilian and there is a lot of creative potential there. Xherdan Shaqiri and Admir Mehmedi have scored 10 and 8 goals respectively at international level, while Admir Mehmedi also has four assists to his name. Shaqiri has played on both sides of the pitch for his club, and has been used as a central forward for Switzerland in the past. He is a powerful forward, with good movement, who is good with his feet, and can score with either foot and with his head.
The backline is their Achilles’ heel. The backline has let in four goals in 180 minutes of play. Diego Costa has seven goals for La Furia Roja this tournament, and is the primary striker for Spain. He doesn’t have a shot on target in the tournament. Andres Iniesta is Spain’s playmaker, and so far, he’s shined for them on the right side. Spain’s Weakness Getting set. Simple. Switzerland’s Weakness Their midfield is the weakest link in their defense. They have just 3 shots on target in 180 minutes of play. “I don’t know how many tackles I’ve done. It’s good if we score three, but if we let in three, then it’s better,” Ismael sent a message of support to his teammate Philippe Senderos after the defender put in an absolutely stellar performance against Portugal.
Spain have been active at all points in their World Cup preparations, which culminated last week in a 5-1 win over Belgium, with all but one of the goals coming from outside the box. In contrast, Switzerland’s hopes of success in this tournament rely very heavily on stopping the Spanish’s prolific attacking play. They have conceded 10 goals across their four matches so far, but only have nine goals to their name, a woeful record which has seen them drop three points and conceded the lead on three occasions. This will be a real test for Switzerland’s defence as they seek to hold out for a draw which would put pressure on Spain. If Switzerland concede, however, the game is virtually over for them. How can Spain stop it?
Spain have scored at least five goals in a game on four separate occasions in 2016 alone and their ability to score goals without the aid of Kylian Mbappe is what sets them apart from any of the other teams remaining in the tournament. Just ask Portugal or England, who also share a common trait with them: great attacking, but suspect defending. Spain v Portugal: The Definitive Preview Spain v Switzerland: The Definitive Preview My prediction is a 6-2 drubbing of the Swiss. Thank you for reading. Please take a moment to follow me on Twitter – @EPL_Posse. Support LWOS by following us on Twitter – @LastWordOnSport and @LWOSworld – and “liking” our Facebook page. For the latest in sports injury news, check out our friends at Sports Injury Alert.