STAR PREVIEW Sat: England v Switzerland
There are just eight months until this winter’s World Cup in Qatar, and a sense that the final preparations really begin now for Gareth Southgate as they bid to better their 2018 performance when they just failed to make the final in Russia.
England qualified for Qatar with their customary ease, taking 26 points from 30 on offer and beating Poland by six points to top spot, and after their run to the final of Euro 2020 hopes will be high that they can go one better this winter.
They are 4/6 for victory against Switzerland in the first of back-to-back friendlies over the next week, but it would be unwise to expect an easy win against a side who made Spain go all the way to penalties at the Euros and come into this international break with an identical recent record to England.
England v Switzerland
17:30 Sky Sports Main Event HD / Sky Sports Football HD / Sky Sports Ultra HD
(Maximum 10 matches)
JUN 2019 NATIONS LEAGUE Switzerland 0-0 England
SEP 2018 FRIENDLY England 1-0 Switzerland
SEP 2015 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER England 2-0 Switzerland
SEP 2014 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER Switzerland 0-2 England
JUN 2011 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER England 2-2 Switzerland
SEP 2010 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER Switzerland 1-3 England
FEB 2008 FRIENDLY England 2-1 Switzerland
JUN 2004 EURO 2004 England 3-0 Switzerland
MAR 1998 FRIENDLY Switzerland 1-1 England
JUN 1996 EURO 1996 England 1-1 Switzerland
Both sides have won three and drawn two of their last five international games, with both unbeaten since their respective defeats at Euro 2020.
Switzerland have also been very tight at the back, with their only goal conceded coming against Euro 2020 Champions Italy, so the Three Lions will have to work hard if they’re to keep up their brilliant record in friendlies (they’ve won eight on the bounce).
There’s also plenty of injury news to deal with on both sides, too. Southgate has lost the chance to use Tammy Abraham, Aaron Ramsdale, Reece James, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Bukayo Saka, whilst Switzerland are without goalkeeper Yann Sommer, Philipp Kohn, Juventus midfielder Denis Zakaria and 24-goal striker Haris Seferovic.
Gareth Southgate has often played a strong team in his first friendly before then allowing for more changes, so we could well see the likes of Harry Kane, Phil Foden, and Mason Mount, which would give England the edge going forward, but both sides have been very solid defensively for a good while and this could be a tight contest. Under 2.5 goals landed when England facd Poland and Hungary last year, and it could be the play here.
PROFIT/LOSS (MARCH 2022): LOSS -18.66 points
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