Match Preview: Switzerland vs Gibraltar

SUI
(Nischal’s Blog)

Switzerland will look to end a run of four games without a win on Sunday afternoon, as they host Gibraltar in Sion.

The Schweizer Nati come into Sunday’s game at the Stade Tourbillon after a tough result, as they drew 1-1 with the Republic of Ireland on Thursday. It sees the Swiss sit third in Group D, though with two games in hand they need to take advantage of their next few games.

They meet a Gibraltar side who are bottom of the table, without any points or wins. They have lost all 4 of their games so far, and having not scored a single goal Switzerland will be expected to cruise to a straightforward victory.

Here’s everything you need to know about Switzerland’s next EURO 2020 qualifier.


Match Information

When is it? Sunday 8 September 2019
What time is kick-off? 18:00 local time (17:00 UK)
Where is it? Stade Tourbillon, Sion
Where can I watch it? Sky Sports Red Button (UK), SRF Zwei (SUI)

Team News

Screenshot 2019-09-06 at 22.32.08.png
(Getty Images)

Two players from Thursday’s draw in Dublin will miss out this weekend, due to completely contrasting reasons. Manuel Akanji had to pull out after injuring his ankle against the Republic of Ireland, though he won’t be replaced ahead of Sunday’s game.

Haris Seferović also withdrew from the squad, but because his wife is due to give birth to their child in the forthcoming days. He has been replaced by FC Augsburg forward Ruben Vargas, who has earned his first callup to the senior side.

Gibraltar manager Julio César Ribas named two uncapped players among his latest squad, as Jared Buhagair and Brad Power come in. Just 3 squad members play outside of Gibraltar: Louie Annesley and Reece Styche in England for Blackburn Rovers and Hereford respectively, and Tjay De Barr for Real Oviedo’s B.

Read about the latest Switzerland squad here


Recent Form

Screenshot 2019-03-26 at 22.38.10

It’s a battle between two win-deprived nations on Sunday, with Switzerland winless in their last 4 games. The draw in Dublin extended their unfortunate run following a draw and 2 defeats, with Denmark, Portugal and England denying them a win.

What’s worse for Switzerland is their record of conceding goals. Of the 7 goals conceded in their 2019 fixtures, 6 of them have come after the 84th minute. An evident lack of concentration late on has proved costly for the Swiss, who need to tighten up at the back and work on their focus in the late stages of games.

GIBRALTAR
(Gibraltar FA)

Gibraltar are in even worse form, having lost 7 consecutive games. They haven’t picked up a win since October 2018, and have ended their last 6 games without even mustering a goal as they travel to Sion in dismal form, hoping for a miracle.

In their entire history, Gibraltar have only won away from home once back in October. It is going to be a tough test as they travel to the 11th best team in the world, and even coming away from a point would be a huge result for the European minnows.


Previous Meetings

SUI
(UEFA)

Believe it or not, this will be the first ever meeting between Switzerland and Gibraltar. While the Swiss have been playing internationals since 1912, Gibraltar’s first official match was just 6 years ago, explaining why these two sides have never crossed paths.

SUI-GIB
The head-to-head stats between Switzerland and Gibraltar. (UEFA)

My Nati Lineup

Screenshot 2019-09-06 at 22.47.48.png
My Switzerland team vs Gibraltar, in the formation 4-3-3. (CreateFormation.com)

Thursday was the 4th consecutive game Vladimir Petković played a back three, and I will continue to say that we should not. As always, it has proven thin and vulnerable, and with such a solid back four I hope Petković reverts to a safe and sound 4-3-3.

The Switzerland manager could make a wealth of changes given the calibre of the opposition, but I see no real point. We haven’t won in 4 games and have dropped 4 points in our last 2 qualifiers- we desperately need a win, and Petković should therefore field a full-strength team.

With Akanji out of the squad, Nico Elvedi will earn a deserved start in defence alongside Thursday’s goalscorer Fabian Schär. Edimilson Fernandes should come into the starting eleven to make up a midfield trio, after some decent performances for the Nati.

Up front, it’s a tough choice with a good selection of strikers. However, I’m going for West Ham’s Albian Ajeti, who has had a strong goalscoring start to the season and deserves the chance to start for Switzerland in Seferović’s absence.

screenshot-2019-09-06-at-23.18.11.png
(Left to Right) Nico Elvedi; Edimilson Fernandes; Albian Ajeti. (Schweizerischer Fussballverband)

My Prediction

sui.jpg
(Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Switzerland’s mediocre form recently means that a win that looks easy on paper would be even more valuable, especially given the picture in Group D. The Nati need to keep up with group leaders Republic of Ireland, and with a tough pair of fixtures next month there should be no excuses not to pick up all 3 points on Sunday.

The Swiss should cruise to victory in Sion, though Gibraltar could possibly fancy their chances against an out-of-form Switzerland side. However their experience and quality should prove decisive, as the Schweizer Nati return to winning ways in style.

My prediction: Switzerland 4-0 Gibraltar

Screenshot 2019-03-23 at 16.06.17


READ MORE

Read more of my Switzerland national team articles here

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Switzerland: Nati earn hard-fought point in Dublin

Boris Johnson is devastating British democracy

Xherdan Shaqiri abstains from latest Switzerland squad


CONTACT

Email: nischalsblog@gmail.com

Twitter: @NischalsBlog

Facebook: Nischal’s Blog

Instagram: @nischalsblog

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