After an incredible group stage filled with drama and late goals, the real tournament now begins with the knockout rounds taking centre stage at Euro 2016. The first round-of-16 game pits two sides that might not be considered as threats for the title but seeing how the tournament has progressed, you never know who would be lifting the title in July. Switzerland face Poland knowing that whichever team progresses, they would set up a tie against Croatia or Portugal.
Both teams were unbeaten in their group games with Switzerland winning one and drawing two and finishing behind France while Poland finished level on seven points behind Germany but had a worse goal difference than the World Cup champions.
The two sides also made it into the knockout round for the first time in their history and will want to continue their journey as they look to get the better of their opposition. The two sides’ most recent meeting was a 2-2 draw in a friendly in 2014 and there really isn’t a lot to split the teams at this stage of the competition either.
The Switzerland vs Poland clash will take place from 18:30 IST (Saturday) and the live streaming of the game can be seen on SonyLIV. Follow Switzerland vs Poland, Euro 2016 Live Score and Commentary with Sportskeeda. The match will be telecasted live on Sony Six and Sony Six HD in India, Fox Sports in the USA and Premier Sports in the UK. The match will be played at Stade Geoffroy Guichard, Saint-Etienne
The Switzerland side don’t really have much to worry about with no suspensions or injuries in their side. The biggest question would be whiter head coach Vladimir Petkovic gives Breel Embolo the start in this game again, similar to what he did against France as the youngster was at the top of the attack.
Speaking to the media before the game, Petkovic sounded a little positive but was full of praise for the opposition as well.
“It will be a difficult game and small margins will decide the result. We’ve started to create something. We’ve taken some small steps, we’ve shut the front door, now we’re about to open a second doorway. With my players we want to open as many doors as possible.
“[Poland] are a strong, very compact side. They haven’t yet conceded a goal. They’ve got very good attacking players, but at this stage we need to focus on ourselves.”
The opposition do have a major problem as Wojciech Szczesny is out of the game and Bartosz Kapustka is also suspended. The Poles should start with Lukasz Fabianski in goal and neither side would be looking to make wholesale changes as they look to continue their journey in France.
Poland’s manager Adam Nawalka spoke ahead of the tie and shed light on Robert Lewandowski’s lack of goals.
"After the last game against Ukraine, we had four days to prepare ourselves for Switzerland. I am sure we are brilliantly prepared. It was enough time for us.
"We don't have any problems with the fact that Lewandowski did not score yet. He does a great job for the team and I am really happy that we have him."
Switzerland: Sommer; Lichtsteiner, Schar, Djourou, Rodríguez; Behrami, Xhaka, Dzemaili; Shaqiri, Embolo, Mehmedi.
Poland: Fabianski; Piszczek, Glik, Pazdan, Jedrzejczyk; Baszczykowski, Krychowiak, Maczynski, Grosicki; Milik, Lewandowski.
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
As stated earlier, there really is nothing much to separate the two sides even in terms of their forms. Switzerland and Poland have each won two, drawn two and lost one of their past five matches.
The two sides have also scored just twice in the group stages each, it just seems they are extremely equally matched.
Head to head
Switzerland and Poland have faced each other 10 times and it is Poland which holds the upper hand by winning four out of the ten ties against the Swiss. There have been five draws between the two teams and Switzerland holds just one win against the Polish team.
Goals, though, seem to be a regular occurrence as both sides have scored a total of 31 goals in those 10 games and fans will expect another goal fest in this game as well. However, goals haven’t been scored by either side all too regularly in the competition and that would be a problem as they look to progress into the next round.
Coming into the tournament, many expected Robert Lewandowski to outscore and outgun many other strikers but that just has not happened. The Bayern Munich star hasn’t been at his best for Poland and will hope to get on the score sheet against the Swiss.
Switzerland also haven’t been firing on all cylinders and this game could well end in a goalless draw with the teams having to face penalties.
Switzerland 0-0 Poland (Switzerland win on penalties)
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