Write the Swiss off at your peril. They go into this summer’s tournament in Brazil with one of the best defensive records in European football, and they will be expecting nothing less than qualification to the last 16. Once they make the knockout phase, it is going to take a very good side to eliminate them.
Take away the eight-goal thriller against Iceland in Bern back in September and the Swiss Guard only conceded two goals in nine qualification games. The stern defence, guided by coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, has the back-up of a young, exciting, and unpredictable attack, and there is a good chance one or two of their players will relish the chance to shine on the world stage.
Being drawn in Group E alongside France, Honduras and Ecuador, will give the Swiss a great chance to reach the next phase. There is little doubt they will fancy themselves as favourites to finish second behind France, but a good result against Didier Deschamps’ side could lead them as far as the Quarter-Finals.
They will need at least one of their young forwards to find that elusive goal-scoring touch this summer; they won’t want the barren run in qualification to continue on to the Group stage. Back in 2010 they only managed one goal from the three matches. That was in the 1-0 win over Spain. They will be hoping for a more consistent and fruitful campaign this time in Brazil.