Switzerland vs Albania
|Date & Time||Saturday June 11, 2016, 10:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: Albania 4/1 Draw 12/5 Switzerland 4/5
ESPN; RTE; ITV
An interesting match up in Group A will see Albania take on Switzerland at Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens.
Albania came through a tough group with Serbia, Denmark and Portugal and had a terrific 1-0 win in Portugal in week one of qualifying. Albania will be rank outsiders in this group with France, Romania and Switzerland all fancied to go further in the tournament but if Albania have shown anything in qualifying it is self belief and resiliance.Gashi and Balaj and the midfield pairing og Xhaka and Cana will be the key players for Albania. Xhaka will be facing his younger brother Granit Xhaka (Arsenal's recent signing) in an interesting subplot to the game. Albania on pipping Denmark to second in the group are qualifying for their first major tournament and the fans will be anxious to make their mark supporting their heros.
Switzerland had another solid qualification winning seven of their ten games and coming runner up to England in the Group. Switzerland have a mixed bag in terms of quality with the highly though of Xhaka and Shaqiri leading the way , experience in the form of Watford's Behrami , Juventus star Lichtsteiner and former Arsenal defender Djourou who form the solid core this team is built on. Pektovic took over as manager after the World Cup in 2014 and did a good job in qualifying after losing their first two games Switzerland went on to win seven of the next eight.
This is a tough game to call. I think defensively both teams are pretty strong and while I think Switzerland may nick a victory here I dont see many goals in this one. Both teams should be looking at this as a must win to give themselves a real chance of getting out of the group and that could lead to nerves and a fear of losing. I'm taking the unders in what looks to be a good match up. I wouldnt be surprised if this finished 1-0 to Switzerland but Albania wont give up anything easy here.