EURO 2024 Round of 16 | Switzerland vs Italy

Switzerland Vs Italy (Berlin,18:00)

On Tuesday, the Italians were looking at the prospect of elimination straight in the face. It was looking like Croatia would pip them to second place until Mattia Zaccagni scored a fabulous goal in the 98th minute. The scenes were glorious for the Italians, while Croatia and their best player of all time, Luka Modric, were left with feelings of heartbreak.

Switzerland's route to the last 16 was significantly less dramatic. Importantly, they overcame Hungary in their first game, meaning qualification looked highly likely. A lacklustre performance against Scotland resulted in a draw, and they were then unfortunate to only draw against the Germans. Having qualified with five points in total, Switzerland, after knocking out France at this stage in the last Euro tournament, should fancy their chances of doing it all again.




Match Analysis

Focusing on the match, we have noted that this Italian side are playing with the handbrake on. This is understandable. Their strength lies in their defence and goalkeeper, and they are aware that their best chance of winning games is by trying to keep a clean sheet. They haven't been able to do this in any of their three games so far in this tournament, so this is a good sign for a Switzerland side who have looked very potent on the attack.

Switzerland has been playing a brand of football that is considerably easier on the eye. Even their centre halves are ball players, which has resulted in them giving teams like Germany a real working over. In recent years, it has always felt like this side is missing something special, but there is a growing feeling that they could go very deep in this tournament with some luck.

For the sake of the spectacle, it would be good if Switzerland took an early lead. This would force the Italians to play out of their comfort zone, and it would be interesting to see how this team would respond. As the drama in their last game proved, they have players who can score crucial goals under pressure.

This game could be considered a classic 50/50. Even though Switzerlands players and form suggest they could beat the Italians on Saturday, the history of the Italians suggests they don't know when they are beaten and, in short, will be embracing their opportunity to create history rather than shrink due to the enormity of the occasion.

Players to watch

Switzerland have surprised a few people in this tournament. They have a solid defence, and we could have easily highlighted Man City's Manuel Akanji or Newcatle's Fabian Schar. Instead, we have focused on their goal threats, including one man who scored a worldie against Scotland.

- Xherdan Shaqiri: Now plying his trade in the U.S.A., many European fans have forgotten about the threat the small forward poses. He now has a wonderful reputation for saving his best for clutch moments. The Swiss fans will hope he has a few more goals left in him this tournament.

- Xhaxa: The 31-year-old has grown in stature as his career has progressed. Having played 225 Premier League games for Arsenal and now 128 games for Switzerland, you would think his legacy would not be in doubt.

However, this past season with Bayer Leverkusen cemented his role as one of the best midfielders in Europe. He played a pivotal role in his team's lifting of the Bundesliga for the first time in their history.

Unlike other Italian generations, this team is not full of global superstars. But that didn't stop them from winning the last European championship. Italian fans will be hoping they can overcome the odds and lacklustre performances again and walk away from this tournament as victors. These two players below must play well if Italy is to advance to the quarter-final stage.

- Nicolò Barella: The all-action midfielder is the heartbeat of Inter Milan and the Italian national team. Barella has established himself as one of Europe's top midfielders, known for his tireless work rate, vision, and ability to score crucial goals.

At 27, he is at the peak of his powers, combining technical skill and tenacity. Italian fans will be counting on his creativity and leadership to guide them through the tournament.

- Donnarumma: The Italians, as they have in recent times, have looked quite blunt. One of the reasons they are the holders of this tournament is their goalkeeper, and they will be relying on him again. Tall, calm and demanding. He ticks all of the boxes that are demanded from a modern goalkeeper.

Match Prediction:

Traditionally, you will always back the Italians over Switzerland, especially when you consider they are the holders of this tournament. With that said, we are doing the complete opposite here. Considering their tenacity, we won't be shocked if the Italians find some form, but we think Switzerland is playing well and will look to outplay their opposition. We are backing a 2-1 victory for the Swiss.