Wales face Switzerland in UEFA EURO 2020 Group A – all you need to know
Having made it all the way to the semi-finals at UEFA EURO 2016, Wales are reaching for the stars again as their Group B campaign kicks off in Russia against a Switzerland side who also made it through the group stage last time out. Switzerland have won five of the sides’ seven matches, each team recording a home win when they were last paired together, in qualifying for UEFA EURO 2012.
- Wales: Ward; Mepham, Rodon, Davies; Roberts, Allen, Ampadu, Williams; James, Wilson, Bale
- Switzerland: Sommer; Elvedi, Schär, Akanji; Mbabu, Zakaria, Xhaka, Rodríguez; Shaqiri; Embolo, Seferović
Matthew Howarth, Wales reporter: Recent Wales games have been low-scoring affairs, and this is likely to be another tight one. Rob Page’s side cede possession while utilising the pace of Daniel James and Gareth Bale in attack – a strategy which could prove very effective against a Switzerland team who have looked vulnerable in defence. If the Dragons can take their chances, there is no reason why they cannot get their Group A campaign off to a flying start.
Vieri Capretta, Switzerland reporter: Switzerland have a very neat style under Vladimir Petković, with plenty of attacking threat to boot. Granit Xhaka and Remo Freuler form a strong midfield partnership that will ensure the Swiss are difficult to break down. They could progress from the group stage and then be a team very few will want to face in the knockout stage.
What the coaches say
Robert Page, Wales coach: “To be head coach, leading the boys out is going to be a great moment for me and an extremely proud day. [Whatever I say to the players] will be from the heart – tactics go out of the window then. What the Red Wall, the fans back home, want to see is you representing your country. [The players] will be ready, but they can’t be too fired up because they have to play with their heads as well. It’s about getting that balance right.”
Vladimir Petković, Switzerland coach: “[Wales] are awkward customers: very compact defensively and good in one-on-one situations. They also have a lot of good quality in the final third of the pitch. We want to dominate play, we want to get hold of the ball, we want to dictate the tempo of the game and we also want to have a cutting edge in the final third and score goals. To do all of that we need to be very focused.”