Switzerland vs Italy. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats, and more

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The Swiss team has emerged as a formidable force at the Euros, while Italy, in contrast, barely secured a spot in the playoffs. Will the courageous Red Crosses manage to overcome the Italians?

Switzerland will face Italy in the UEFA EURO 2024 round of 16 match at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. The fixture will take place on Saturday, June 29, beginning at 21:30 IST.

Parimatch News will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.

Switzerland News & Current Form: 

The first playoff match of Euro 2024 will see Switzerland face Italy. This encounter is something of a classic, given the numerous occasions these neighbours have met in various tournaments. 

Since 2014, the Swiss have consistently reached the playoffs in FIFA World Cup and European Championships, but have only made it to the quarter-finals once, at Euro 2020. Initially, fans were concerned about the team’s performance in the tournament. The Reds only secured second place in their qualifying group and delivered unconvincing performances in subsequent friendlies. However, it is now clear that the coaching staff has prepared the team well. Moreover, they have been improving with each match. Every player executes their role meticulously, offers guidance to teammates, and maintains focus.

Following the first two group stage matches, opinions on the Reds’ performance were mixed. They started with a confident 3:1 victory over Hungary, taking a 2:0 lead by half-time and securing the win despite conceding a goal after the break, adding a third in the closing stages. The match against Scotland ended in a 1:1 draw. The Swiss had to come from behind, which they managed within 13 minutes. The game was balanced and the draw was a fair result, fully satisfying the team as it secured their playoff spot.

Germany had a strong start in their home Euros, and few expected Switzerland to pose a challenge in the third match. However, the Reds nearly clinched a victory. Dan Ndoye opened the scoring in the middle of the first half, and the defence held firm against the opponent’s attacks throughout the game. As a result, the team of Murat Yakin almost finished the group stage in first place, missing out by mere seconds when Niclas Füllkrug scored a late equaliser for the host country (1:1). Against the group favourites, Yakin’s team created only 0.57 xG with 38% possession, retreating to a five-defender formation after the break. The Swiss are unlikely to be too disappointed, as any playoff opponent will be formidable, even if they qualify from third place. 

Silvan Widmer won’t help his team in the first playoff match due to having too many yellow cards

Silvan Widmer will miss the upcoming match after receiving his second yellow card of the tournament in the 81st minute against Germany. This is a significant loss as Widmer started in all group-stage matches. He will likely be replaced by 22-year-old VfB Stuttgart defender Leonidas Stergiou, who does not match Widmer’s reliability. Michel Aebischer has been the highest-rated Swiss player in the Euro 2024 group stage. While not an obvious candidate, his decisive goal against Hungary (3:1) justifies his high ratings. The Bologna FC midfielder has been indispensable for the Swiss team, playing every minute of their group-stage matches.

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Italy News & Current Form: 

The Italian national team cannot boast the same level of stability as their Swiss counterparts. It is worth recalling that the Azzurri missed the last two World Cups, although they did manage to win Euro 2020 under Roberto Mancini. They were at risk of missing out on Euro 2024 as well under Luciano Spalletti. Their path to the Euros was far from straightforward, but after losing to England, Italy held firm in a crucial away match against Ukraine, securing a goalless draw that saw them qualify directly without needing the playoffs.

At Euro 2024, Italy’s performance has been underwhelming. In the first match, they conceded an early goal to Albania but managed to score twice before playing out the rest of the game at a leisurely pace to maintain their 2:1 lead. This was followed by a 0:1 loss to Spain, a result that did not fully reflect the game, as the Azzurri deserved a heavier defeat.

Italy had three points after the first two rounds, occupying second place with a goal difference of zero. It was clear that a draw against Croatia would suffice for them. With this in mind, the players approached the match defensively. They ceded possession to the Croatians and attempted to play on the counter-attack, initially with some success. However, problems arose early in the second half: Gianluigi Donnarumma saved a penalty from Luka Modrić, but moments later, the Croatian captain found the net.

This left the Azzurri with a goal difference of minus one, three points, and third place in the group. This was not the worst result among third-placed teams, but facing a strong opponent in the round of 16 is never desirable. Italy increased their attacking efforts, creating several dangerous chances, but the Croatian goal remained elusive. The referee added eight minutes of stoppage time, and just when it seemed the Balkans would secure victory, Riccardo Calafiori made a solo run into the box and set up Mattia Zaccagni, who scored with a curling shot into the top corner, leaving Dominik Livaković helpless.

Interestingly, this was Italy’s first-ever win against Croatia. However, significant questions remain about the Azzurri’s performance, both overall and concerning individual players. Nicolò Barella has been underperforming, and Gianluca Scamacca and Mateo Retegui have struggled in attack. Nonetheless, reaching the playoffs is an achievement.

“It was a tough match, but the main thing was to get out of a difficult group. We are happy. It’s nice to draw and make it to the playoffs at the last moment. Maybe against Spain, we seemed vulnerable, which shouldn’t happen for a team like ours. We definitely need to grow, even if there’s not much time for that in such tournaments. Of course, we can improve in terms of gameplay, but our attitude is commendable. This is the starting point for us,”

said Italian defender Giovanni Di Lorenzo after the game against Croatia.

Riccardo Calafiori will miss the first playoff match due to an accumulation of yellow cards

It is also worth noting the squad changes made by Italy’s coaching staff during the group stage. The Italians adjusted their lineup based on the strength and style of their opponents. One of the few positive changes was the introduction of Mateo Retegui as the forward against Spain (0:1), despite the negative result. For Riccardo Calafiori, the assist to Zaccagni in the crucial moment against Croatia might be his swan song at Euro 2024. The Bologna defender will miss the round of 16 match due to an accumulation of yellow cards, likely to be replaced by either Gianluca Mancini or Alessandro Buongiorno. Italy are expected to stick to a three-centre-back formation, emphasising defensive solidity once again.

Switzerland form guide: W-W-D-W-D-D

Italy form guide: W-D-W-W-L-D

Switzerland vs Italy Head-To-Head Record:

  • June 16, 2021: Italy 3 – 0 Switzerland (UEFA EURO);
  • September 5, 2021: Switzerland 0 – 0 Italy (FIFA World Cup);
  • November 12, 2021: Italy 1 – 1 Switzerland (FIFA World Cup).

Switzerland vs Italy Predicted XI:

Switzerland’s possible starting lineup (3-4-2-1): Sommer; Schar, Akanji, Rodriguez; Stergiou, Xhaka, Freuler, Aebischer; Ndoye, Vargas; Embolo.

Italy’s possible starting lineup (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Darmian, Mancini, Bastoni; Di Lorenzo, Barella, Jorginho, Pellegrini, Dimarco; Chiesa, Scamacca.

Statistical preview of the match Switzerland vs Italy:

  • The Swiss national team holds 19th place in the FIFA ranking of national squads, while the Italian collective is ranked 10th.
  • Switzerland’s First XI average age is 28.8 years, and Italy’s First XI average age is 27.4 years.
  • Szymon Marciniak has been appointed as the centre referee. The match official has already served 7 games this season, showing an average of 5 yellow cards and also whistles 24.7 fouls per game. 
  • In the last 5 games, Italy conceded an average of 0.60 goals per game and scored an average of 0.80 goals per game.
  • In the last 5 games, Switzerland conceded an average of 0.80 goals per game and scored an average of 2.00 goals per game.
  • The Swiss national team has been qualifying for the finals of the European Championship since 1996, the current participation is the sixth, and the best achievement is advancing to the quarter-final of Euro 2020.
  • The top scorer of the team in the qualifying matches was Zeki Amdouni, he scored 6 goals. The leader among the assistants is Xherdan Shaqiri who has 3 assists.
  • The Italian national team has won the Henri Delaunay Trophy twice in its history: in 1968 and 2021.
  • The best scorer of the national team in the qualifying tournament is midfielder Davide Frattesi, who scored 3 goals. The best assistant of the team – Nicolo Barella – provided 4 assists to his teammates.
  • Switzerland are riding a seven-game unbeaten streak. Switzerland have scored and conceded in the last four games.
  • Italy have lost once in the last nine meetings.
  • 9 of Switzerland’s last 14 matches have ended in draws, including two draws at the tournament in Germany.
  • Italy have conceded first in all matches at Euro 2024 without exception.
  • The Swiss collective has failed to beat Italy in 11 consecutive head-to-head matches.
  • In four of the last six matches involving the Italian national team, there was no exchange of goals. 

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What has been said before the match:

Stephan El Shaarawy of Italy emphasises the importance of unity and resilience within the team, highlighting their ability to face challenges collectively. This mindset has been a cornerstone of their success, allowing them to navigate difficult moments and emerge victorious:

“We are reigning champions. There is expectancy and pressure, as it should be. We are a strong team, made up of men who know how to suffer and rejoice together, who can have their say and get to the bottom of it. We must have the ambition to be protagonists in this European Championship.”

“I expect a very high tempo, the Swiss showed it against Germany: they went very well, and they have talented and quality players. Then, the round of 16 is always tough, you will have to face them with the right spirit and maximum attention to detail. The difference is made by the details, the runs you make, and the yards you cover to win the ball back. It will require great attention, but we are ready.”

Switzerland vs Italy Prediction:

The Italian national team’s performances failed to be convincing neither in qualification nor in the group stage of the Euros. Luciano Spalletti’s men were only good against Albania, the weakest team at the tournament. The reigning champions lost to Spain without a chance, while against Croatia they equalised only a few seconds before the final whistle.

The Swiss, on the other hand, are astonishing in this European Championship campaign and remained unbeaten in the group stage, nearly snatching the top spot in Quartet A from the tournament hosts, who are considered to be one of the main contenders for the title. After a decent bold start to the match and the quick goal, the Red-Whites were successful in neutralising the attacking attempts of the Germans who were only able to level the score in added time. Such a display is not a coincidence, but a sign of stability in the ranks of the Red Crosses who are unbeaten for six matches at the Euros (2 wins, 4 draws). Over the past year and a half, the Swiss have lost at the official level only once.  Murat Yakin’s team is cohesive and well-organised, they can endure the pressure disciplined and use their moments with high efficiency.

By virtue of the peculiarity of the teams’ playing styles, matches involving them are characterised by rather low totals. Now, in the knock-out game, the cost of error is extremely high, and this pressure will have an even greater impact on the team’s open-mindedness and the boldness of their attacking endeavours. The Swiss will prefer to relinquish possession and play second fiddle, waiting for an opportunity to catch their opponents in a slip-up – something that worked perfectly in last week’s encounter. The passing skills of creative players like Granit Xhaka and the good form of quick wingers like Dan Ndoye allow the team to transition into attack very fast and vertically. 

The visitors have been given the status of favourites and are expected to play an attacking game, but the Italians tend to play in a reserved and cautious manner while experiencing a crisis of ideas in positional attack – it will be challenging to crack the coherent defence of the Red and Whites. Crosses into the box and set-pieces could work well against Switzerland, but it’s not clear who will be able to convert them, given the poor form of the team’s main centre-forward, Gianluca Scamacca. In recent matches, Squadra Azurra has been experiencing a lack of confidence, passivity and a depressed atmosphere in the locker room. Whether Luciano Spalletti’s men will be able to approach this match reinvigorated and energised for success remains an open question.

Considering the setting of the match and the fact that the defensive line of both teams is more composed than the attacking one, while goalkeepers Yann Sommer and Gianluigi Donnarumma are among the best shot-stoppers in the world – we do not expect any sort of open game rich in goals. In the last five of the last six head-to-head games, the rivals have not accumulated more than two goals — we believe that this trend will continue. 

Parimatch News staff prediction:

We say: Switzerland will not lose and the match total will be less than 2.5 – Yes.
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