Friday, 3 June 2011

Euro 2012 - England vs. Switzerland Preview

Since we are all suffereing from the lack of football this week, the final game of the 2010/11 season is England's Euro 2012 Qualifier against Switzerland. England won 3-1 away in Basle last time round, and are expected to collect maximum points again this weekend.

Kick off: 4.45pm
Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovenia)

England 4-3-3

Switzerland team 4-5-1

Player’s one yellow away from suspensions


o Ashley Young
o Ashley Cole
o Gareth Barry
o Glen Johnson


o Eren Derdiyok
o Stephan Lichtsteiner
o Valon Behrami
o Tranquillo Barnetta
o Stephane Grichting

England Squad

Scott Carson, Joe Hart, David Stockdale

Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Phil Jagielka, Glen Johnson, Joleon Lescott, John Terry, Kyle Walker

Gareth Barry, Michael Carrick, Stewart Downing, Adam Johnson, Frank Lampard, James Milner, Scott Parker, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Ashley Young

Strikers:Darren Bent, Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, Bobby Zamora

Switzerland National Team

Ranked number 25 in the FIFA World Rankings

Head coach: Ottmar Hitzfeld
- 62 years old, German
- Been in charge since July 1st 2008
- Used to play for Swiss side FC Basle
- Nicknamed the General

Last 6 results – L, L, W, D, D, D

Tues 07/09/10 - Euro 2012 Qualifier - Switzerland 1 – 3 England
Fri 08/10/10 - Euro 2012 Qualifier - Montenegro 1 – 0 Switzerland
Tues 12/10/10 - Euro 2012 Qualifier - Switzerland 4 – 1 Wales
Wed 17/11/10 - Friendly - Switzerland 2 – 2 Ukraine
Wed 09/02/11 - Friendly - Malta 0 – 0 Switzerland
Sat 26/03/11 - Euro 2012 Qualifier - Bulgaria 0 – 0 Switzerland

Squad Goalkeeper

Diego Benaglio – 27 years old – 34 caps – Club: Vfl Wolfsburg

Faces still competition from fellow goalkeeper Marco Wolifi. Wolifi has started three of the last six Swiss matches, while Benaglio has started the other three. (Pictured)

Marco Wölfli – 28 years old – 9 caps – Club: BSC Young Boys
Currently vying with Benaglio for the number one spot. Has played in two qualifiers and one friendly, out of Switzerland’s last six matches.


Reto Ziegler – 25 years old – 23 caps 1 goal – Club: Juventus
He had spells in England with Tottenham and Wigan, and most recently joined Juventus. Likely to start at left back

Johan Djourou – 24 years old - 25 caps 1 goal – Club: Arsenal
He has made 37 appearances for arsenal after missing a year of football and the Swiss side’s 2010 world cup campaign. Likely to start centre-back. (Pictured)

Stéphane Grichting – 32 years old – 45 cpas 1 goals – Club: Auxerre
The Auxerre defender has made the centre half position his own after injuries to first choice pair Johan Djourou and Philippe Senderos saw them miss a large portion of the Swiss fixtures. He is the only player over 30 in the squad.

Stephen Lichtsteiner – 27 years old – 36 caps – Club: Lazio
Fiery right back, he was sent off against England in the last meeting between the two sides in 2010. Almost a certainty to start right back.


Philippe Senderos – 26 years old – 41 caps 5 goals – Club: Fulham
Well known for his time at Arsenal, he now plays for Fulham. He missed most of the season due to a cruciate knee injury and only managed two appearances this season, and unlikely to start.

Steve Von Bergen – 27 years old – 21 caps – Club: Cesena
Centre back who earned his place due to Senderos’ and Djourou’s long term injuries. Featured in two of Switzerland’s three matches at the 2010 World Cup


Tranquillo Barnetta – 26 years old – 58 caps 6 goals – Club: Bayer Leverkusen
The versatile midfielder is the most experienced member of the squad, with 58 caps. He can operate on either wings or can play in the defensive midfield role. Expected to start on the left side of midfield.

Gokhan Inler – 26 years old – 47 caps 4 goals – Club: Juventus
Expected to be appointed for this game, after Alexander Frei’s retirement. He’s played in all four Euro 2012 qualification games this season. (Pictured)

Pirmin Schwegler – 24 years old – 11 caps – Club: Eintracht Frankfurt
Defensive minded midfielder expected to sure up the middle with Inler. Featured in five of the last six matches under Hitzfeld.

Valon Behrami – 26 years old – 29 caps 2 goals – Club: Fiorentina
Well known to England fans for his three years with West Ham United. The right sided player is expected to feature of the right midfield postion, and is of Albanian descent.

Xherdan Shaqiri – 18 years old – 10 caps 1 goal – Club: FC Basel
One of the most promising Swiss players for some time, caught the attention of English fans after scoring the only goal with a sensational strike in the 3-1 defeat last September. Left footed, but operates wide right or behind the striker, likes to cut inside onto his left foot. Has played almost 60 games for FC Basle.


Gelson Fernandes – 24 years old – 33 caps 2 goals – Club: Saint-Etienne
Tall, strong defensive minded midfielder who may be remembered for his time in the Premiership with Manchester City, where he spent two years, played 43 games scoring 3 goals. He was Switzerland under-21’s captain.

Blerim Džemaili – 25 years old – 12 caps – Club: Parma
Spent two years contracted to Bolton Wanders (2007-09) but didn’t make a single appearances for the English club, and spent most of that time on loan in Italy with Torino. Plays predominantly as a central midfielder

Xavier Margairaz – 27 years old – 18 caps 1 goal – Club: FC Zurich
A defensive midfielder who spent all but one season of his career playing in the Swiss football. He had an unsuccessful stint at Osasuna in 07/08 but now plays for Swiss Super League runners-up FC Zurich

Granit Xhaka – 18 years old – 0 caps – Club: FC Basle
Uncapped at senior level, only previous outing in any form for Switzerland is for the under-17 level where he featured in 13 games. Can operate as a forward


Eren Derdiyok – 22 years old – 31 apps 2 goals - Club: Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Scored on his international debut at Wembley in February 2008 when England won 2-1 in coach Fabio Capello’s first match in charge. Tall, strong striker who adds more to the team in way of presence and work ethic than goals. (Pictured)


Admir Mehmedi – 20 years old – 0 caps – Club: FC Zurich
Uncapped young striker who has scored 21 goals in 76 appearances for his club.

Innocent Emeghara – 22 years old – 0 caps – Club: Grasshoppers
Uncapped young striker who was born in Nigeria and has opted to play for Switzerland. This is his first international call up. Has 4 goals in 3 games at Under-21 level

Players missing

Valentin Stocker – Out with a knee injury. Out for around 8 months, was expected to start on the left side of midfield

Alex Frei and Marco Streller – Both retired due to criticism after the 0-0 draw with Bulgaria

Average age of the Switzerland squad: 24.8 years old
Average age of the England squad: 26.7 years old

Real Talk Football

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