After missing all international competitions between 1966 and 1994, the swiss national team has been present in the last 3 World Cups and 5 out of 7 Euros (one as a host).
Since replacing Ottmar Hitzfeld, after an elimination in the 2016 World Cup Round of 16 by Argentina, Vladimir Petkovic’s path has not been brilliant. Despite a rather calm qualification that ended in 2nd place in Group E, only behind England, the swiss lost 3 of the 4 games against England and Slovenia (3rd place finishers) and hasn’t enjoyed different results in the friendlies before the Euro2016.
Known as a defensive coach, Petkovic’s Switzerland shows a greater inclination to attack than his previous teams, leaving only 6 members to the defensive tasks with a frontline of 4 that help very little in off-the-ball duties. If you add their side-backs offensive nature, it’s easily explained why they only had clean sheets again San Marino, Estonia and Lichtenstein in the qualifying stage.
The middle of the park is where the hopes of the swiss rely, namely with Shaqiri and Xhaka. If Arsenal’s latest transfer is the thinking block of the team, capable of exposing the opponents’ liabilities through pass, Shaqiri is a completely different player, a natural-born smasher, with easiness of dribble and shot, quick in transitions always with the ball glued to his left foot, even though he lacks collective skills in some moments of the game.
Due to the absence of Drmić, Seferović will be the lone striker and even though he only scored 3 times in last year’s Bundesliga, he scored 3 in 7 games in the qualifying stages and also leading the swiss on shots made.