Our match prediction:
Having survived Albania in their second group game, France will be looking to keep their 100% record in Group A intact when they square off against Switzerland at Stade Pierre-Mauroy. Les Tricolores failed to impress in the 2-0 win over Albania, but it has to be noted that coach Didier Deschamps rested his key players Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba in Wednesday’s football match. The duo is likely to be recalled to the starting XI and despite the fact that Switzerland need one point from the Stade Pierre-Mauroy clash in order to book their place in the knockout stages, we predict that the hosts will emerge triumphant in their final group game. France are eager to make amends for the poor performance in the match against Albania and, no doubt, Didier Deschamps’ charges will take Sunday’s game very seriously. When the two teams met at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil France rolled over the Rossocrociati (5-2).
Highligted Player (Mehmedi):
Born in FYR Macedonia, Admir Mehmedi moved to Switzerland with his parents at the age of 2, and no wonder he decided to represent the Rossocrociati at international level. The forward made a name for himself at FC Zurich, scoring 19 goals in 84 league outings to catch the eye of bigger clubs. Mehmedi surprisingly opted to join Dynamo Kiev in January 2012, but he would soon leave war-torn Ukraine, signing a permanent deal with Bundesliga outfit Freiburg after impressing while on season-long loan. As Freiburg got relegated to the second division, the forward was given a chance to remain in the top flight by Bayer Leverkusen, and he grabbed it with both hands despite knowing that it would not be easy for him to secure regular playing time. In spite of the lack of first team action at Bay Arena, Mehmedi remained a part of the Switzerland national team, mostly due to his versatility and being able to operate on either wing or as second striker. He has so far made over 40 outings for Nati, making four appearances and scoring one goal at the 2014 World Cup.
Highlighted Team (France):
Recording impressive results on international stage since 1904, France are widely regarded as one of the world’s most successful national teams, with three major trophies to their name. Two of those were won on home soil as Les Bleus emerged triumphant at the 1984 World Cup and 1998 European Championships, before also winning the 2000 Euros in Netherlands and Belgium. Michel Platini, Jean Tigana, Luis Fernandez and Alain Giresse formed the “Carre Magique” during the 80’s as one of the most impressive attacking line-ups made life difficult for opposition defenders for years on end. The new golden generation appeared at the turn of the century and featured players like Thierry Henry, Zinedine Zidane, David Trezeguet and Youri Djorkaef, winning back to back major trophies to place Les Bleus back on the map. A new world-class team appears to be in the making as the likes of Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and Raphael Varane are the pillars of the team led by Didier Deschamps. France national team now play their games at the stunning Saint Denis, or Stade de France.