Our prediction for this Euro 2020 match:
After shocking France at Arena Nationala (Bucharest), Switzerland will be looking to give fans yet another reason for celebration when they take on Spain in the EURO 2020 quarter-finals. The Rossocrociati impressed in the triumph over les Tricolores, but despite the performance, the bookies see them as underdogs in Friday’s clash at Gazprom Arena. Since key midfielder Granit Xhaka misses the match through suspension, home win should not be considered.
La Roja, on the other hand, survived Croatia in the last 16, with both Morata and Oyrazabal sealing the victory in the extra-time. Luis Enrique’s men look sharp in front of goal, and seeing that aforementioned Arsenal ace Xhaka will have to serve his ban in Friday’s game, we are tempted to put our money on the Spaniards. Luis Enrique should have a full squad to choose from for the EURO 2020 quarter-final.
Highlighted Player (Xherdan Shaqiri):
Another impressive player who emigrated to Switzerland, Xherdan Shaqiri is a midfielder with excellent technical qualities, very strong in taking players on and creating chances for his teammates, while also being a danger from set pieces. The Serbian-born footballer formed an excellent midfielder pairing with Granit Xhaka at FC Basel, before making a high-profile move to Bayern Munich in the summer of 2012.
Shaqiri went on to prove a great deal of potential at Allianz Arena, scoring 11 goals in 52 Bundesliga matches, but he decided to leave in search of first team football, first joining Inter Milan and then moving to Stoke City. It was at Britannia Stadium that the attacking midfielder rediscovered his form and if he continues playing at such a high level, it won’t be long before he returns to the biggest stage.
Even when he was not playing regularly at club level, Shaqiri would always reserve his best performances for the national team, as witnessed by 17 goals in first 50 caps. The midfielder was especially impressive at the 2014 World Cup finals, where he scored no fewer than three goals.
Highlighted Team (Spain):
Historically, Spain have been regarded as one of top sides on international stage, but they often struggled to live up to the billing. After reaching the semi-finals at the 1950 World Cup, La Furia Roja won the European Championship trophy on home soil in 1964, but little did they know that it would remain their only trophy for another 44 years.
Following some disappointing showings, Spain finally returned to the biggest stage under Vicente Del Bosque, winning three straight trophies between 2008 and 2012, before crashing out in the group stage at the 2014 World Cup. La Furia Roja enjoyed plenty of success with their tiki-taka style of play, originally designed by Barcelona, with Vicente Del Bosque’s side packed with technically skilled players such as Xavi Hernandez, Xabi Alonso, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and David Silva.
Strikers Fernando Torres and David Villa also had a major role to play in those successes, but when it comes to their famous predecessors, the likes of Alfredo Di Stefano, Michel, Emilio Butrageno, Raul Gonzalez, Fernando Morientes and Fernando Hierro should not be forgotten.