Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
There will be fireworks when Switzerland and Italy go head to head at St. Jakob-Park in the Group C derby. Despite dropping two points in a 1-1 draw with Bulgaria, the Azzurri remained in top position, but the Rossocrociati are breathing down their neck. A man to watch in the away team will be Federico Chiesa, who found the net in the midweek draw, while Leonardo Spinazzola remains in the recovery room.
Switzerland, on the other hand, aim to keep their 100% record in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers intact. New boss Murat Yakin rested first-team regulars in a friendly against Greece, but he is going to field the best possible side in the Group C derby. Granit Xhaka returns to the starting XI, but keep in mind that the hosts will be without Mario Gavranovic, Xherdan Shaqiri, Breel Embolo, and Loris Benito in the St. Jakob-Park showdown. Given the number of absentees in the home side, we believe that there is a big value in betting on the European champions.
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 (Italy):
With four World Cup titles and one European Championship trophy, Italy remain one of world’s most successful teams and they have also finished as runners up at major tournaments on four occasions. The Azzurri have become famous for their result oriented football over the years which is perfectly suited for World Cup and Euro finals, so it is now a surprise when they fail to reach the final stages.
After winning the second and third edition of the World Cup, Italy endured a difficult period until lifting their first European Championship title in 1968, while they also managed to show some improvement at the turn of the century. While winning the 2006 World Cup in Germany, the Azzurri reached Euro finals in 2000 and 2012, and they are still regarded as one of the leading sides in Europe.
There have been too many high-profile players leaving their mark on the national team to count, but the likes of Paolo Maldini, Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Dino Zoff, Roberto Baggio, Luigi Riva and Alessandro Del Piero will go down as some of the most successful ones.