Only eight teams remain in the Euro 2020 and the final four will be determined following the quarter-final stage which begins today. In a tournament that has already seen upsets aplenty, Spain will take on Switzerland in the first quarterfinal.
The three-time winners of the competition had their task cut out against Croatia in the Round Of 16. The attack burst into life in the topsy-turvy 5-3 win, but it also showed their defensive vulnerability, despite only conceding once in the group stage.
After scoring 10 goals across their last two fixtures, Spain will be hoping that the forward line keeps the pressure on the opposition defence. Ferran Torres has been phenomenal on the flank and should join Alvaro Morata and Pablo Sarabia as the front three in the playing eleven.
The midfield trio of Koke, Sergio Busquets and Pedri are also expected to grace the fixture in the middle of the park.
Unai Simon is expected to start despite his horrendous blunder in the previous fixture. The Athletic Bilbao keeper did enough with some stellar saves late on during the match to warrant his place in the side.
Cesar Azpilicueta and Eric Garcia are slated to keep their places in the backline over Diego Llorente and Pau Torres respectively.
The Spanish side will take initiative with the bulk of possession, and as a result, will have to be vary against the Swiss counterattack.
The nation shocked the world by eliminating the favourites and world champions France on penalties. The exemplary display has made the team, a force to be reckoned with and not lightly by any means.
Their historic win against France marks the first time that they have reached the quarter-finals of the European Championships.
They will have to step out into the field without their general and leader Granit Xhaka, who capped off a Man Of The Match display against France. Due to the suspension, the Arsenal midfielder is likely to be replaced by Denis Zakaria.
Playing their customary 3-4-1-2 formation, Swiss will hope to keep things tight against a Spanish side immersed in possession football philosophy. Counter-attacks and runs by the wing backs will be crucial with Xherdan Shaqiri at the helm of creation.
Waging Odds: Spain (1.65) vs Switzerland (6.00)
Spain are favourites and are priced at 1.65, meaning if you bet ₹100 on them and if they win the match, you’ll be making ₹165.
Switzerland are priced at 5.50 and are the underdogs. Betting ₹100 on them will earn you ₹550 if they come out as winners.
The winner of this contest will face the winner of Belgium and Italy, to set up a tantalizing semi-final clash.
It would be foolish to write off Switzerland after the resilient nature of their comeback win agianst France.
Concentration will be the key once again as the Swiss will have to work hard to gain possession of the ball. Set pieces can be used to their advantage as well.
Spain, on the other hand, will have to work harder to break down the 3-man defence that the Swiss have set in place. While Spain have scored at will over the course of the past two games, they have also equally squandered chances.
A close contest is on the cards as a bursting Swiss side takes on a lukewarm Spanish team. Football philosophies could take centre stage to help Spain’s cause, who should get away with a slender 2-1 victory, with extra time being a serious contender to be in action.