Our prediction for this Nations League match:
Spain will be aiming to retain top position in Group 2 when they host Switzerland to Estadio La Romareda on Saturday. La Roja are eyeing their third consecutive win of the process, and they are likely to adopt an attack-minded approach against the Rossocrociati. Experienced players Jordi Alba, Cesar Azpilicueta, Alvaro Morata, and Sergio Busquets have all been included, while Real Madrid winger Marco Asensio is back to the squad. Leipzig forward Dani Olmo has been omitted this time out.
Switzerland, on the other hand, desperately needed a win against Portugal, and they managed to get one, with the team regaining a much-needed confidence. Murat Yakin’s men, though, will have a mountain to climb in Saturday’s clash as Spain are a real force to be reckoned with at home. Denis Zakaria is back to the squad, while Chicago Fire ace Xherdan Shaqiri has recovered from an injury he suffered in the triumph over A Selecao.
Highlighted Player (Jordi Alba):
Jordi Alba is yet another product of Barcelona’s youth academy La Masia. The pacey full back, though, started playing for Valencia at senior level and after making 74 league appearances for los Che he returned to Barcelona in 2012.
He signed a five-year deal with Barca on 28 June, 2012 and he made his debut for the Catalan giants on 19 August in a 5-1 win over Real Sociedad. Alba won his third La Liga title with Barca in 2016 and it has to be noted that he participated in a 3-1 win over Juventus in the 2014/2015 Champions League final. The left-footed defender made his Spain debut on 11 October, 2011 and one year later he won the European Championship trophy with la Furia Roja.
He scored in the final against Italy. Jordi Alba has four caps for Spain U21 team and he played for Catalonia as well. The left back was born in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat on 21 March, 1989.
Highlighted Team (Switzerland):
While missing the first ever World Cup, Switzerland played at next four, reaching the quarter-finals on three occasions, but they were unable to repeat the success in next six appearances. Nati reached the first knockout stage in 1994, 2006 and 2014, but they couldn’t make the next step.
When it comes to their European Championship appearances, the situation is even worse, as the team only qualified for the 1996, 2004 and 2016 finals, while they automatically qualified for the 2008 tournament together with co-hosts Austria. Switzerland national team of late have profited from the multicultural environment, as they appear to have closed the gap behind top European sides and also adopted a more adventurous style of play.
The new generation is probably the most talented yet, with players like Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Ricardo Rodriguez and Valon Behrami all held in high regard. Nati now have a unique chance to try and reach the closing stages of a major tournament as their key men are either at their peak or will be there in the next couple of years.