Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
Northern Ireland and Switzerland face each other at Windsor Park in what is expected to be one of the most entertaining games of Wednesday’s program. The Green and White Army aim to build on a 4-1 win over Lithuania, but they will have a big fish to fry against the Rossocrociati. Since important midfielder Paddy McNair is banned for the hosts, we are not tempted to put our money on Ian Baraclough’s charges this time out.
Switzerland, on the other hand, did well to hold European champions Italy to a goalless draw in their last group game, which is yet another reason why away win should be considered. Keep in mind, though, that Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka misses the match through illness (coronavirus), while Xherdan Shaqiri is out of contention due to the lack of fitness.
Highlighted Player (Jonny Evans):
Originating from Belfast, Jonny Evans is one of the most famous football players from the new generation of the Northern Ireland national team, although numerous injuries prevented the centre-back from showing all he’s got.
Coming through the famous Manchester United youth academy, Evans was promoted to the senior set up by club icon Sir Alex Ferguson and he would go on to lift four Premier League trophies with the Red Devils, making over 130 league appearances for the club before moving to West Bromwich Albion in 2015. During his time at Old Trafford, the defender usually played back up to Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, but made quite a few appearances in important games, including 31 Champions League outings.
As soon as he was given a chance to impress at Manchester United, Evans was called to the Northern Ireland national team and he has made over 40 appearances on international stage since 2006, helping his country qualify for the Euro 2016 finals.
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.