Switzerland will compete in their first ever Euros quarter-final on Friday evening, challenging Spain for a place in the Euro 2020 semi-finals.
Vladimir Petkovic’s men produced one of the shocks of the competition as they knocked out world champions France 5-4 on penalties after a 3-3 draw over 120 minutes. The resulting penalty shootout ended 5-4 in favour of the Swiss, sealing a first ever round of 16 victory.
They will face a Spain side who finally seem to be getting near to their best, after notching five goals in two successive matches – for the first time in European Championships history. They booked their place in the last eight courtesy of a fantastic 5-3 win over Croatia, in which Alvaro Morata and Mikel Oyarzabal got the extra time goals.
Here’s the Switzerland team that could field.
Yann Sommer (GK) – The hero in his side’s win over France, saving Kylian Mbappe’s penalty. The obvious number one and sure starter.
Nico Elvedi (CB) – Fared really well against Mbappe in one on one situations and will have to be on high alert once more against Spain.
Manuel Akanji (CB) – He’s been a leader throughout Switzerland’s campaign as a commanding presence at the back. He’ll have a lot to do against the fluid Spanish frontline.
Ricardo Rodriguez (CB) – Missed a penalty that could have put Switzerland 2-0 up against Les Bleus, but that shouldn’t keep him out of the side for this one.
Silvan Widmer (RWB) – Didn’t have the best of games last time out but he’s well trusted by Petkovic and should be in line for another start.
Denis Zakaria (CM) – Granit Xhaka’s suspension is a bitter blow for the Swiss, so Zakaria will really have to step up. His athleticism could be key in stifling Spain’s creators as well as driving his side up the field.
Remo Freuler (CM) – He’s been a solid defensive presence in front of the backline and will need to be on top form to screen his defence against the likes of Pedri in the Spanish midfield.
Steven Zuber (LWB) – Can add a danger in the final third with his delivery, although his mind may be taken up by the dangerous wide men he’ll be facing on Friday.
Xherdan Shaqiri (CF) – Undoubtedly capable of magic but he’ll have to be a lot sharper than he was last time out to shift Spain’s defensive unit about – if he’s on song, he could be key.
Breel Embolo (ST) – Demonstrated how much of a handful he can be against France in possession, as well as with his runs in behind. Gives Switzerland a different dimension up top.
Haris Seferovic (ST) – Another hero in that famous win over Les Bleus. His brilliant headed brace was key for his side, and he’s more than earned what will be his 79th cap on Friday.