Coming into the Euro 2016 qualifying stages, Switzerland were in fine form. They had impressed in the 2014 World Cup reaching the last 16 by qualifying 2nd in a group which included France, Ecuador and Honduras. Their performances throughout the tournament earned admiration as they comprehensively beat both South American sides which turned out to be no mean feat considering how well the smaller South American nations performed in general compared to their European counterparts.
As a whole Switzerland have a decent footballing heritage, they reached the Quarter-finals twice in the 1930's but more recently won the 2009 U17 World Cup showing their improvement in recent times.
Switzerland may be an enigma at Euro 2016 as they did surprise many with their performance at the World Cup and they will want to compete at the same level coming into Euro 2016. Realistically though the Swiss must be hoping they can get through the group stage with anything else being a bonus at this stage.
|Belgium / Netherlands||2000||Did not qualify||-|
|Austria / Switzerland||2008||Group Stage||11|
|Poland / Ukraine||2012||Did not qualify||-|
Although Switzerland have yet to advance beyond the group stages, they made it through to the last 16 at the 2014 World Cup with some scintillating play, with pretty much the same squad they should have plenty confidence coming into Euro 2016.
|10.06.16||20.00||France||2 - 1||Romania|
|11.06.16||14.00||Albania||0 - 1||Switzerland|
|15.06.16||17.00||Romania||1 - 1||Switzerland|
|15.06.16||20.00||France||2 - 0||Albania|
|19.06.16||20.00||Romania||0 - 1||Albania|
|19.06.16||20.00||Switzerland||0 - 0||France|
A danger for this Swiss side is the fact they may overlook the minor countries in Group A, Romania were unbeaten in qualifying and Albania have nothing to lose playing in their first ever tournament, but Switzerland have a far higher quality of player than either of those sides and must fancy their chances of reaching the last 16.
France will present a tough task for this team, but playing them in the last game of the group on 19th June, when Les Bleus may have already qualified for the next round could play into the hands of the Swiss, if it gets to the stage where they require points. All in all qualifying shouldn't be a problem for Switzerland and they look good for a 2nd place finish.
France are surely a lock to take top spot in Group A and with the lower ranked sides Romania and Albania making up the numbers, second seems almost secured for Switzerland.
Below is a list of the 4 teams drawn in Group A and their FIFA World Ranking, as you can see, Romania and Switzerland are ranked higher than France due to the fact France qualified for Euro 2016 automatically as host nation. Hence they haven't picked up any ranking points recently, but in truth, France are a better team in terms of overall quality and experience than both Switzerland and Romania.
Switzerland possess a wide variety of goalscoring threats, the midfield dynamo Xherdan Shaqiri netted 4 goals during qualifying along with Josip Drmic and Haris Seferovic scored 3.
Switzerland will be dangerous on the counter-attack against any side and the dangerous Shaqiri has shown he can perform on the international stage in the past scoring a hat-trick in the World Cup against Honduras.
|Fabian Lukas Schaer||24||Defender||2|
Switzerland have a great chance of getting through the group rather comfortably. They should have the class to beat Romania and Albania at a canter and will await their opponents in the last 16. This side may actually flourish with the more games they play as they did seem to improve the longer they went in Brazil.
Although it's no foregone conclusion, Switzerland are tipped to finish in 2nd place and will gain a horrible draw against the runners-up of Group C, which contains the likes of Belgium, Italy, Republic of Ireland and Sweden. The higher class of opposition may prove too difficult for this squad and this is where you would fancy their run to end. The value bet is for Switzerland to exit in the last 16.
Switzerland will be looking to Stoke City's star man Xherdan Shaqiri to come up with the goods in France. A hat-trick in Brazil underlined the quality of Shaqiri on the international stage and he seems to be overall a lot more consistent player in international football than for his club sides over the past few years. An improved performance could well be on the cards for Shaqiri and the Swiss will be hoping for a repeat of his performances in the World Cup.
Switzerland will look to attack down the flanks and with players such as Xherdan Shaqiri and Valentin Stocker controlling midfield, the two full backs Lichtsteiner and Ricardo Rodriguez like to bomb forward and get their crosses in early. A little soft at the back, Switzerland are also prone to conceding a few against the more technical teams.