EURO 2016 Qualifier

Monday 8 September – St. Jakob Park (20:45)

england wayne ROONEY-web_compressed

Switzerland v England

Switzerland 17/10   draw 21/10   England 16/10

England travel to Basel on Monday night to take on Switzerland at St. Jakob Park as the Euro 2016 qualifiers gets underway. England are unbeaten against Switzerland in the last seven meetings, winning four times. However, England bowed out in the group stages of the World Cup while Switzerland lost to the finalists Argentina in the round of 16. Switzerland are currently ranked 9th and England 20th in the Fifa rankings.

Click to bet nowSwitzerland manager Vladimir Petkovic has brought Olympiakos midfielder Pajtim Kasami back into the national team and called up three new faces for their opening Euro 2016 qualifier. Kasami, who has just transferred to the Greek club from Londoners Fulham, had been the surprise absentee in Switzerland’s World Cup roster drawn up by veteran manager Ottmar Hitzfeld. Seen as a rising star, the 22-year-old has made two appearances for Switzerland and scored once, but has not won a cap since a friendly against South Korea last November. Hitzfeld, in charge for six years, bowed out following a World Cup campaign that saw Switzerland reach their target of a round of 16 berth, only exiting due to an extra-time goal by finalists Argentina. For the September 8th qualifier on home turf in Basel, former Lazio manager Petkovic has largely stuck with Hitzfeld’s squad. He also decided to call up two untried defenders, Silvan Widmer of Italian club Udinese, and Loris Benito, who plays in Portugal for Benfica. Petkovic also shook up his list of goalkeepers, as stalwart Diego Benaglio last week announced his international retirement after 61 appearances in order to concentrate on his club career with German side Wolfsburg. His number one choice is now set to be Yann Sommer, who has six Switzerland caps and plays for Germany’s Monchengladbach.

Switzerland squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Roman Buerki (Freiburg), Marwin Hitz (Augsburg), Yann Sommer (Monchengladbach)

Defenders: Loris Benito (Benfica), Johan Djourou (Hamburg), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Ricardo Rodriguez (Wolfsburg), Fabian Schaer (Basel), Philippe Senderos (Aston Villa), Steve Von Bergen (Young Boys), Silvan Widmer (Udinese)

Midfielders: Valon Behrami (Hamburg), Blerim Dzemaili (Napoli), Gelson Fernandes (Rennes), Fabian Frei (Basel), Goekhan Inler (Napoli), Pajtim Kasami (Olympiakos), Valentin Stocker (Hertha Berlin), Granit Xhaka (Monchengladbach)

Forwards: Josip Drmic (Bayer Leverkusen), Admir Mehmedi (Freiburg), Haris Seferovic (Eintracht Frankfurt), Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern Munich)

England manager Roy Hodgson has stressed to his players that there is no reason to be fearful heading into the Euro 2016 qualifiers. Wayne Rooney has been named the new England captain by Hodgson, who has selected a youthful Three Lions squad ahead of the clash with Switzerland. Rooney’s first challenge as skipper will be to aid England’s resurgence after a dreadful World Cup campaign. The Three Lions finished bottom of Group D at the World Cup earlier this year, behind Costa Rica, Uruguay and Italy. Newcastle United midfielder Jack Colback has been named in Hodgson’s new-look England squad for games against Norway and Switzerland. Four Premier League players have received their senior call-ups, including Colback, Arsenal defender Calum Chambers, Aston Villa’s Fabian Delph and Tottenham Hotspur defender Danny Rose. This is the first squad picked by Hodgson since captain Steven Gerrard and midfielder Frank Lampard both announced their international retirements following the Three Lions’ failed World Cup campaign in Brazil. Tottenham winger Andros Townsend has returned to the fold after missing out on a spot in Brazil due to injury, while Everton defender John Stones has also been included.

England squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Southampton), Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion), Joe Hart (Manchester City)

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Calum Chambers (Arsenal), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Everton)

Midfielders: Jack Colback (Newcastle United), Fabian Delph (Aston Villa), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)

Forwards: Rickie Lambert (Liverpool), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United).

Prediction: Draw

The last time these sides met was in the Euro 2012 qualifiers where they cancelled each other out in a 2-2 draw at Wembley Stadium. Switzerland showed in the World Cup that they are a quality side, hungry and bold. England put on a poor performance in the Brazil 2014 showpiece and will look to start off fresh and move forward. This match could prove to be a tight affair and the draw is tipped at 21/10.

Written by Chadley Nagel

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