Matchday 3 for both these sides takes place in Switzerland, as Spain make the journey East in search of their first Nation’s League win of the campaign. Their hosts are looking for their first point of this campaign after two resounding losses to Czech Republic and Portugal. The pressure is building on both countries to prove their League A status on Thursday night and to get you clued up, I’ve selected my top 3 Bet Builder Picks and a Cheat Sheet for the clash in Bern.
Switzerland will be happy to play their first home game of The Nation’s League at The Wankdorf Stadium normally occupied by Young Boys. Yes, you did read that correctly. That stadium and team combination is a good metaphor for what Swiss fans consider a joke of a campaign so far.
They were handed a 2-1 loss by the Czech Republic due to a defensive error and an own goal by Djibril Sow. In their last match, they were dominated by Portugal after some early bright spells of play to lose 4-0. For the manager Murat Yakin and the 14th ranked country in the world, the pressure is mounting, and changes are needed. It could be a new look side we see tomorrow as the recently suspended Schar joins his potentially absent regular centre back partners Elvedi and Akanji on the sidelines.
Spain won’t feel as concerned coming into this fixture having played reasonably well over their first two fixtures. They’ll feel hard done by not to have secured a win in at least one of their 1-1 and 2-2 draws with Portugal and Czech Republic, respectively. This game will be considered the perfect opportunity for Luis Enrique to return to winning ways against a Swiss team low on confidence.
Switzerland have only beaten their guests once in 23 attempts, however the last time they met it was a very close affair in The Euros with Spain edging by on penalties. In that fixture Sergio Ramos managed 4 shots on target which explains his questionable position at the top of the Cheat Sheet. In this fixture then it’s fair to expect the unexpected although Ramos is unlikely to get on the pitch this time let alone on target.
Switzerland v Spain Bet Builder Tips
Spain to Win
As mentioned before, Spain have only been beaten once by their hosts in 23 games. From the remainder of these games 5 have ended in a draw and an impressive 17 have been won by Las Rojas. Much of this success can be boiled down to quality disparities between the two sides historically and currently. For instance, Switzerland’s centre back issues sees FC Basel’s 33 year old Fabian Frei likely to stand in on Thursday. An unassuming central midfielder will be the best the home team can offer to plug the gap in the absence of Schar, Elvedi, and Akanji.
Spain on the other hand have world class centre back Aymeric Laporte sidelined due to a long term injury. Replacing him with another top class defender is little issue with a team stacked with players from their superior domestic division. Even if they were to suffer the same defensive woes as Switzerland, Busquets or Rodri can perform as more than capable defenders having done so numerous times for their clubs.
The trip to Switzerland won’t be an issue for their attack who have scored in every away trip since October of 2020. They’ll dominate possession as been characteristic of the national team for many years and I think they’ll be handed an advantage by having a settled squad from their previous fixtures compared to their opponents. Familiarity breeds contempt, but it can also bring chemistry and I’m expecting the Spaniards to get their hands on a deserved first 3 points of the campaign at odds of 1.87.
Alvaro Morata to have 2+ Shots
Alvaro Morata is a head scratcher for many football fans. He’s managed to play for some of the best teams in the world such as Chelsea, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, and now Juventus without ever really impressing anyone. He also finds himself as the most likely candidate to be Spain’s number 9 even after a forgettable season with Juventus in the absence of a better replacement. Long gone are the days of Fernando Torres, David Villa, and Raul, he is now for better or worse the man they look to for goals.
Even if it is true that Morata is a pawn in an international money laundering scheme, he represents good value to have a couple of efforts tomorrow night. One reason why, is that he is the focal point for the majority of Spain’s attacks. In their most recent game 70% of their attacks developed through the middle and against Portugal this was a respectable 60%. This is unsurprising given how comfortable they are in possession and playing through the middle is a natural result of being comfortable with the ball at their feet.
The centre of Switzerland’s defense looks like prime real estate given Switzerland’s defensive issues mentioned previously. Looking to the Cheat Sheet makes promising reading for this selection as Morata averages 3.45 shots per game. In his last start against Portugal he managed 2 attempts both coming through the middle with one actually hitting the back of the net. He’s a penalty box striker which means he’ll be relying on his teammates to give the ball to his feet which I think they’ll be able to do tomorrow against a sub-par Switzerland defense. He’s odds on to have 2 shots at 1.33.
Breel Embolo 1+ Shots on Target
The embarrassment in Portugal means Switzerland boss Murat Yakin will have to re-strategize his starting XI against the betting favourites on Thursday. A likely casualty of this will be veteran goal scorer Hans Seferovic. He might as well not have played in the match and was sluggishly chasing shadows for most of the evening. His replacement against the Portuguese is tipped to start for The Swiss, the Borussia Monchengladbach forward Breel Embolo.
His direct and mobile style of play is a completely different option to Seferovic who is more of a target man. Against a Spain team that will be in possession for large periods of the game he’s a far more suitable option for disrupting play and dragging the aging fullbacks Alba and Azpilicueta into deep waters. As per the Cheat Sheet, he averages 0.94 shots on target per game from a possible 2.36 shots. The majority of these shots come from inside the penalty area which contributes to his accuracy and his dribbling means he can create chances for himself rather than waiting on service like Morata.
He’s been on an upward trend of shooting and form like his domestic club Monchengladbach who finished the season well after a stuttering start. In his last 10 starts for club and country competitively he’s hit the target at least once on 9 occasions. Spain are not a team that concede a high number of shots against them but their last two consecutive failures at keeping a clean sheet show there is work to be done defensively. Even if Seferovic starts it’s likely Embolo will line up beside him and the striker is priced generously at 2.3 to get a shot on target.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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Switzerland v Spain Predicted Line-ups
Switzerland predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Sommer; Widmer, Frei, Comert, Rodriguez; Xhaka, Freuler; Steffen, Shaqiri, Okafor; Embolo
Spain predicted XI (4-3-3): Simon; Azpilicueta, Torres, Garcia, Alba; Llorente, Busquets, Gavi; Asensio, Morata, Torres
Switzerland v Spain Cheat Sheet
* All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing *
How to watch Switzerland v Spain in the UEFA Nations League
📅 When is Switzerland v Spain? / Thursday, 9th June 2022, 19:45
🏟 Where is Switzerland v Spain? / Wankdorf Stadion (Bern)
📺 What TV channel is Switzerland v Spain on? / Premier Sports
🟨 …And who is the referee for Switzerland v Spain? / Serdar Gözübüyük 🇳🇱