Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Nations League clash between Switzerland and Spain, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.
Swiss and Spain will both strive to end their winless starts UEFA Nations League campaign in Thursday’s Group 2 League A clash in Geneva.
The hosts were beaten 4-0 by Portugal in their last game, while La Roja left it late to salvage a point in a 2-2 draw with the Czech Republic.
Early fears of a first-ever relegation to League B are just beginning to mount for Switzerland after their dismal start to the Nations League campaign, as Murat YakineThe team could not respond to their defeat against the Czechs in Lisbon on the first day.
Guillaume Carvalho and Joao Cancelo found the back of the net on either side of Cristiano Ronaldodoubled on a humiliating evening for the Swiss, who could very easily have conceded a few more goals on the day, and preparations for Qatar could hardly have started worse for the hosts.
Yakin’s side are unsurprisingly bottom of the League A Group 2 standings with two matches played and have yet to welcome Portugal to their headquarters before the end of the month as they now have three defeats and one. draw in their last four matches in all competitions.
Goalkeeper Gregor Kobel admitted ‘alarm bells are ringing’ after the world’s 14th-ranked nation was torn apart by Portugal, potentially leaving the Swiss hierarchy with a big decision to make over Yakin’s tenure in the hotseat if the results don’t are not improving.
Switzerland can at least boast an 11-game unbeaten streak at home before Spain‘s visit, but it’s now been more than three-and-a-half years since their last official Nations League success after earning a 3-0 win over Ukraine in November 2020 due to their opponents’ COVID-19 outbreak.
Luckily for the messy hosts, Spain weren’t able to impose their authority on their Nations League group either, and Luis Enrique were indebted to an unlikely name to prevent La Roja from suffering a shock defeat to the Czech Republic.
One night when Gavi became the youngest goalscorer in the history of Spain, Jakub Pesek and Jan Kuchta struck either side of the 17-year-old’s effort to give the Czech Republic a 2-1 lead, but Inigo Martinez returned home to the dying embers to save a point for his side.
After suffering a late heartache in their draw with Portugal, it was a reversal of fortune for the 2010 world champions on Sunday, and the result leaves the visitors winless in the embryonic third in the table, the Czech Republic still due to visit the Iberian nation in a few moments. the time of days.
Enrique has at least now overseen a six-game unbeaten streak for his side in all competitions, and it hasn’t been since October 2020 that La Roja have failed to score away from home, so the news of the Switzerland’s exhausted defense will be music to the Spaniards’ ears.
Spain nearly managed to overtake Switzerland on penalties in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020, but the hosts have won only one of their 23 previous meetings with La Roja in all tournaments, and confidence is not exactly at its highest in Geneva at the moment. .
Form of the Swiss Nations League:
Swiss form (all competitions):
Spain Nations League form:
Form Spain (all competitions):
Swiss central defender Fabien Scher was booked for the second time in two Nations League games last time out and is suspended for Thursday’s game, hardly ideal after Nico Elvedi and Manuel Akanji both missed against Portugal.
Eray Comert could therefore come back in partnership Fabien Frei here, while Yann Sommer should move Kobel in the goal and Silvan Widmer can come back for Kevin Mbabu on the right.
Breel’s embolism, Noah Okafor and Remo Freuler are also candidates to start as Yakin mulls a rejig, demoting the likes of Haris Seferovic and Jordan Lotomba to the bench.
As for Spain, Enrique admitted that the Barcelona starlet Ansu Fati – who is still suffering from extreme bad luck with his injuries – may not play this month due to his ongoing fitness issues.
Enrique made wholesale changes for the draw with the Czech Republic, and the likes of Paul Torres, Cesar Azpilicueta and Jordi Alba should all return to the bottom line for visitors, while savvy Rodri is about to give up Sergio Busquets.
Alvaro Morata and Ferran Torres should also earn recalls in the final third after Raúl de Tomas was given the go-ahead but only lasted 61 minutes on day two.
Possible starting line-up for Switzerland:
sum; Widmer, Frei, Comert, Rodriguez; Xhaka, Freuler; Steffen, Shaqiri, Okafor; Embolo
Possible starting line-up for Spain:
Simon; Azpilicueta, Torres, Garcia, Alba; Llorente, Busquets, Gavi; Asensio, Morata, Torres
We say: Switzerland 0-2 Spain
While Spain were disappointed with their result against the Czech Republic, their starting XI will have a more familiar feel this time around, which is more than can be said for their hosts.
Schar’s suspension only adds to Yakin’s defensive dilemma as his side struggle to find inspiration in all areas of the pitch, and we can only envision La Roja claiming their first group win in comfortable fashion. .
For a data analysis of the most likely outcomes, scores and more for this match, please click here.