Switzerland handed tricky tests in Nations League Draw

UEFA Nations League
(UEFA)

Switzerland will play Spain, Ukraine and Germany in the 2020/21 Nations League, following the tournament draw on Tuesday.

The Schweizer Nati go into Group A4 alongside two of the last three world champions, after the draw was made in Amsterdam. They will kick off their group stage campaign in September 2020, first focusing on the summer ahead for EURO 2020.

Vladimir Petković’s side were the very last team to be drawn, coming out of Pot 1 after their performance at the inaugural tournament. They made history by qualifying for the first Nations League Finals last year, finishing fourth after defeats to hosts Portugal and England.

Switzerland arguably form the Group of Death in Group A4, with some fantastic ties in store over the autumn months.

EURO2020
(Schweizerischer Fussballverband)

Despite relegation to League B last time out, Germany are back in League A with a mouth-watering group in store. Die Mannschaft have a big 2020 ahead after recent failures, being knocked out of the group stage at the World Cup and relegated from the Nations League in a group containing the Netherlands and France.

Switzerland are already set to meet Germany on 31st May, in a friendly at Basel’s St. Jakob-Park. It will be their first meeting since 2012, when the Swiss secured a remarkable 5-3 win in Basel. Their last competitive meeting was all the way back in 1966, when then West Germany ran out 5-0 winners at the World Cup in England.

Luis Enrique’s Spain are also in Group A4, unlucky not to progress to the finals last year. After an unprecedented three consecutive major tournament wins, Spain haven’t progressed past the round of 16 in their last three appearances, desperate for the return of their glory days.

Switzerland held the Spanish to a 1-1 friendly draw in 2018, with Ricardo Rodríguez cancelling out Álvaro Odriozola’s goal in Villarreal. The last competitive meeting was a historic one, as Gelson Fernandes earned the Swiss a famous 1-0 win over the eventual champions at the 2010 World Cup.

Spain vs Switzerland June 2018
(Toto Marti/Blick)

The Schweizer Nati haven’t met Ukraine in a competitive meeting in 14 years, when they were infamously knocked out of the 2006 World Cup. The Ukrainians won 3-0 on penalties after a goalless draw in the last 16, as Switzerland became the first ever side to be knocked out of a World Cup without conceding a single goal.

Andriy Shevchenko’s Ukraine earned promotion to League A in the previous edition of the tournament, progressing past the Czech Republic and Slovakia. After an unbeaten 2019 with ten games played, the Yellow and Blue are a nation not to be underestimated in what looks to be a thrilling group.

Details of where the home games will be played are yet to be confirmed, though there are a few likely cities in contention. Basel will almost certainly host a game, while Luzern, Zürich and St. Gallen are also likely host cities. I believe that Switzerland will host Germany in Luzern, Spain in Basel and Ukraine in St. Gallen.

Switzerland kick off their Nations League campaign with a trip to Ukraine on 3rd September, before hosting Germany three days later. The October fixtures see them travel to Spain and Germany within the space of three days, before hosting Spain on 13th November and Ukraine on 16th November.

Screenshot 2019-11-15 at 22.05.20


READ MORE

Read more of my Switzerland national team articles here

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Brexit: My opinion, four years on

Gibraltar 1-6 Switzerland: Schweizer Nati book EURO 2020 berth in style


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