Match Preview: Switzerland vs Belgium

Cover SUI-BEL

Switzerland welcome Belgium to the Swissporarena on Sunday evening, as their Nations League debuts reach a conclusion.

It is a massive game for both sides, with qualification for the Nations League Finals at stake. Switzerland and Belgium have played three games, and it all comes down to this.

Belgium travel to Luzern with the upper hand, as they are three points clear of the Swiss. However Switzerland have the home advantage, which could prove key.


Match Information

When is it? Saturday 18 November
What time is kick-off? (UK) 19:45 GMT
Where is it? Swissporarena, Luzern
Where can I watch it? (UK) Sky Sports Football

Previous Meetings

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Belgium players celebrating in their 2-1 victory over Switzerland in October. (Photo News)

The two last met in October, with Belgium hosting Switzerland in Brussels. Both teams had won their opening fixture against Iceland, with Belgium winning 3-0 and Switzerland thrashing the Vikings 6-0.

However it was the home side who triumphed on the night, as a Romelu Lukaku brace secured a 2-1 win for Belgium.


Recent Form

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Fabian Schär shows his disappointment after Switzerland’s 1-0 defeat to Qatar. (Blick)

Switzerland’s warm-up friendly couldn’t have gone any worse, as they fell to a shock 1-0 defeat to Qatar on Wednesday night. It was a lacklustre performance in Lugano, in a result that gives no confidence to the team.

On the other hand, Belgium are off the back of a 2-0 win over Iceland in Brussels, thanks to Michy Batshuayi’s brace. The Red Devils are on maximum points, and are unbeaten in six games.

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Michy Batshuayi celebrates scoring in Belgium’s 2-0 win over Iceland. (Belgian Red Devils)

Who needs what?

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The current table in Group A2, as of 17 November. (UEFA)

Switzerland Win: Switzerland go through on goal difference

Belgium Win: Belgium go through on points

Draw: Belgium go through on points


Team News

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Stephan Lichtsteiner on the floor after picking up an injury against Sporting. (90min)

It won’t be easy for Switzerland, as since the squad release on 9 November there has been a handful of changes.

Stephan Lichtsteiner, Roman Bürki, Manuel Akanji, Ricardo Rodríguez and Breel Embolo will all miss out through injury. As well as this, Fabian Schär is suspended following two yellow cards.

For Belgium, their sole absence is more peculiar. Yannick Carrasco will miss out due to a reported ‘passport problem’, with Divock Origi replacing him.


My Switzerland Lineup

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My Switzerland lineup, in the formation 4-2-3-1. (buildlineup.com)

Switzerland’s established back four are all unavailable for Sunday, which sees a complete reshuffle of the Swiss defence.

This includes inform Timm Klose of Norwich City and youngster Kevin Mbabu of BSC Young Boys. The latter looks to soon be a regular, as Stephan Lichtsteiner’s Switzerland career could soon be coming to a close.

The midfield and attack stay the same, with Mario Gavranović filling in for injured Breel Embolo at left-wing. It also looks likely that Haris Seferović will lead the attack.


 Score Prediction

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Dries Mertens and Ricardo Rodríguez battle for the ball in October’s meeting. (Blick)

This is by far Switzerland’s toughest Nations League challenge yet. There is still debate about the importance of the competition, but I absolutely love it and have enjoyed watching the Schweizer Nati play in it.

My heart says Switzerland will win, but my head is not sure. Nevertheless, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt about football it’s that you have to believe. You have to have the belief no matter what, and that is the mindset I’m taking into Sunday’s game.

It will be a fiery game, but I think Switzerland will nab it and qualify for the first ever Nations League Finals. It won’t be easy, but I believe in my national team, and I know we can do it. Roll on Sunday.

My Prediction: Switzerland 2-1 Belgium

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