Our prediction for this Nations League match:
Kybunpark will host Tuesday’s Nations League game between Switzerland and Czech Republic. The Rossocrociati aim to build on back-to-back wins over Portugal and Spain, and they must be high on spirits ahead of the last group game. Since Switzerland are one point away from avoid relegation to League B, we predict that they will adopt a cautious approach against Czech Republic.
Fit-again midfielder Denis Zakaria could be recalled to the starting XI, but, as always, men to watch in the home team will be Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka. The Czechs, on the other hand, experienced all sorts of problems at the back in a 4-0 loss to Portugal, which is probably the main reason why we are going to put our money on Murat Yakin’s troops. Defender Jakub Brabec, who limped off with injury in the last group game, is unlikely to feature against the Rossocrociati.
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 (Czech Republic):
Czech Republic national team is the natural successor of the Czechoslovakia side that dominated world football during the 20th century, winning one European Championship trophy and coming second at 1934 and 1962 World Cups. After the separation of the country in 1992, Czech Republic continued the proud tradition by qualifying for each of the next six European Championship finals, losing to Germany in the final of the 1996 tournament.
The Czechs also reached the last eight at the 2012 finals, but their World Cup record of late is pretty disappointing. Since separating from Slovakia, Czech Republic only qualified for one of five World Cup finals. The 1996 generation, featuring players like Pavel Nedved, Karel Poborsky and Patrik Berger, will forever remained etched in the fans’ memory, while the likes of Milan Baros, Jan Koller, Petr Cech and Tomas Rosicky are some of the other notable footballers.
Highly rated goalkeeper Petr Cech is the team’s most capped player, whereas towering forward Jan Koller tops the goalscoring charts with 55 strikes in 91 games.