Rossocrociati- Red Crosses
Switzerland is a side that doesn’t have an impressive record at the European Competitions. In fact, their European record is worse than their World Cup campaigns. Their best finish at the Euros was in their last competition in 2016 with a Round-of-16 exit. The Rossocrociati have qualified five times which includes the Euro 2020, and they have only won two out of their 13 matches in the tournament. This year, the Swiss are looking at improving their miserable record and to show how they have grown as a strong force in international football.
The team obtained 6 points in a group of Spain, Germany, and Ukraine in the Nations League. They also had a solid start to their World Cup 2022 campaign in the qualifiers. The European Qualifiers saw Switzerland finishing top of their group above Denmark with just one loss.
The ex-Young Boys and Lazio manager, Vladimir Petkovic, took charge of the National Team in the year 2014. He guided the team to a consecutive Round of 16 performances in the 2016 Euros and the FIFA World Cup 2018 and it has been their best international performance in a long time. The manager is an ex-midfielder and he started his managerial career in 1997. He has now been with the national team long enough to identify talents and develop a team that can exhibit quality to compete at the highest levels of international football. The 57-year old has squeaked past the group stage in many competitions since he took over and this edition of the Euros could witness a masterclass of a performance from the Rossocrociati sabotaging the interests of the big guns in the group.
Provisional Squad for the Euros
A preliminary Switzerland panel for Euro 2020 was announced on May 19.
Goalkeepers: Yann Sommer (Mönchengladbach), Yvon Mvogo (PSV), Jonas Omlin (Montpellier), Gregor Kobel (Stuttgart)
Defenders: Manuel Akanji (Dortmund), Loris Benito (Bordeaux), Nico Elvedi (Mönchengladbach), Kevin Mbabu (Wolfsburg), Becir Omeragic (Zürich), Ricardo Rodríguez (Torino), Silvan Widmer (Basel), Fabian Schär (Newcastle United), Jordan Lotomba (Nice), Eray Cömert (Basel)
Midfielders: Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Denis Zakaria (Mönchengladbach), Remo Freuler (Atalanta), Djibril Sow (Frankfurt), Admir Mehmedi (Wolfsburg), Xherdan Shaqiri (Liverpool), Ruben Vargas (Augsburg), Steven Zuber (Frankfurt), Edimilson Fernandes (Mainz), Christian Fassnacht (Young Boys), Dan Ndoye (Nice), Andi Zeqiri (Brighton)
Forwards: Breel Embolo (Mönchengladbach), Mario Gavranović (Dinamo Zagreb), Haris Seferović (Benfica)
Sommer has been a celebrated shot-stopper in the Bundesliga for several years and is a valuable asset to Borussia Monchengladbach. He is known for his judgments, distribution, and cat-like reflexes. The 32-year old will be an indispensable part of the progress of the team at the Euros.
The 29-year old has been a vital part of the Swiss team and his experience at the highest levels of international football and his goal-scoring prowess would make him the game-changer for the Petkovic side. He is used as a central midfielder in the current mode of play where he is given the freedom to roam making it difficult for the opposition to pin him down. Even though he isn’t used much in Liverpool, Shaqiri has the experience and exposure to lead the Swiss attack at the Euros.
Ruben Vargas is more than a key player in that Swiss squad. He is a rising baller and at 22 years of age, he has made his mark in the Bundesliga at FC Augsburg. A natural right-footer, Vargas has the versatility to operate from both wings, making him extremely valuable for the manager. The Euros will be the perfect stage to announce himself as not just the next best Swiss talent but also the next big thing in Europe.
Predicted Lineup and Formation
Petkovic is an experienced tactician and has heavily incorporated the 3-5-2 and 5-4-1 formations in his style of game. Yann Sommer is nailed to start as the shot-stopper. The centre-backs provide a stable and reliable base not just in defence but also in initiating attacks. The pivotal role played by Freuler and Xhaka accounts for the midfield orchestra allowing the wing-backs to overlap. Shaqiri and Embolo would get in behind and attack in the final third while Seferovic would ideally be the target man.
The managerial experience of the 57-year old will prove to be a decisive factor in challenging group stage success. The squad exhibits a sense of passion and hunger for victory and the capability of the manager in harnessing such an emotion can drive the team towards success in this edition of the Euros. The Rossocrociati has proved to be an explosive attacking unit controlled by a very experienced pivot. The wing-backs also contribute to the attack resulting in intense counter-attacking football. The pace, the physique, and the mentality of the players channelled by a master tactician manifest the strength of the Swiss team.
The “explosive” attacking unit is also vulnerable to counterattacks. The squad might be creative on paper, but when it comes to international tournaments, Switzerland has bottled many matches due to the lack of quality that is required to challenge the big names in the tournament. This has been a weakness that persisted and has always restricted this team to progress further in the competition.
Switzerland has been an improving side in international football and over the past few years, they have provided decent competition and have even proved to be challenging in several instances. There have been many changes in the team that crashed out of the 2018 World Cup. The new faces in the team would give them the hope to strive for a better European finish this year. The Rossocrociati are currently in good form after three consecutive victories and they will expect to carry the same morale and determination in continuing their winning ways in the European competition.