Les Blues are currently in crisis ahead of the round of 16 next week with several names on the sideline. They will have to cope with it when they are meeting Switzerland, one of the best third place from group A. France remains the favorite here but Vladimir Petkovic’s side will do everything in their power to take advantage of such circumstance.
The teams’ previous matches
France ended the group stage with another draw result while taking on the reigning champions. They took the lead twice through Karim Benzema’s brace but Cristiano Ronaldo also equalised twice by his penalties. The result was enough to keep them on the top of the group.
Switzerland finally managed to seal a 3-1 win in their last game against Turkey. Xerdan Shaqiri scored a brace and Haris Seferovic bagged one while Turkey only replied once through Irfan Kahveci. It was a vital victory for them to secure one place to the knock out stage.
Didier Deschamps is likely still in favour of 4-3-1-2 formation with the possible transition to 4-2-3-1. The absence of Lucas Digne, Lucas Hernandez, Adrien Rabiot, Thomas Lemar and Marcus Thuram plus Ousmane Dembele could give them a major blow on the left side of their defence. Leo Dubois is one option left to play the left back position while the front ones will still be occupied by the quartet Mbappe-Griezmann-Benzema and Pogba.
Meanwhile, the former Lazio boss, Vladimir Petkovic, is still in favor of his regular 3-5-2 or 3-4-1-2. Xerdan Shaqiri is still the anchorman behind Breel Embolo and Haris Seferovic. Luckily, none is ruled out for this fixture.
Players to watch
Antoine Griezmann is the indispensible name in France’s attacking system as the number ten. Yet, he has only contributed one goal without any assist. The veteran Karim Benzema seems to be doing better with two goals while Kylian Mbappe is still scoreless. Hopefully the PSG star could overturn his unconvincing form at the group stage.
In Switzerland, Liverpool man Xerdan Shaqiri is definitely the one who could provide creativity in the midfield and attack. He has notched up two goals and one assist. Another key man to watch is Steven Zuber who has provided three assists.
France vs Switzerland Prediction
Antoine Griezmann and Co should have no difficulty to get past Petkovic’s side with at least two-goal difference. Switzerland’s defensive stance would have to be improved to frustrate Les Blues’ attack. Otherwise, they have to say goodbye from this summer tournament.