2010 FIFA World Cup Preview: Spain vs. Switzerland in Group H

Ron FurlongAnalyst IIJune 14, 2010

MURCIA, SPAIN - JUNE 08:  David Villa (#7) of Spain celebrates scoring the opening goal during the International Friendly match between Spain and Poland at the Estadio Nueva Condomina on June 8, 2010 in Murcia, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

It is now becoming clear to the Swiss team, Spain will not miraculously forfeit their Group H game with Switzerland on Wednesday, so Plan B needs to be put into effect.

What is Plan B for Swiss Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld?

Annoy the hell out of the Spaniards.

"Little Switzerland will annoy the favorites," Hitzfeld said, aware of the odds favoring Spain or Brazil to win the World Cup. "We will give everything and try to create a surprise."

Although Hitzfeld didn't get into specifics to exactly what "give everything” meant, one can only assume a swarming defense, knowing they have little chance in controlling the ball.

Four years ago the Swiss were able to advance out of the Group Stage without conceding a goal. In fact, they never conceded a goal in the 2006 World Cup at all. They lost in PK's after a 0-0 outcome with Ukraine to be eliminated.

Hitzfeld knows a similar low-scoring approach will be needed in the first game this year, and perhaps, in all three Group H games. The other two teams in the group are Honduras and Chile.

As for Spain, they will certainly not overlook the Swiss. No one in this tournament can be overlooked. Also, considering it is the first game, they should be fired up and ready to show what they have to the world.

Andres Iniesta will be fit and in the starting lineup for Spain. Iniesta had injured his thigh in a 6-0 Spain win over Poland in a recent warm-up game. David Villa scored in the game against Poland, as did Fernando Torres, who seems fit and ready to go. Torres didn't come on till the 66th minute, but was all over the pitch in the little time he played. David Silva also scored twice.

Spain has no shortage of offensive options. Even their defense is solid, and although not likely to get tested much by the Swiss, can stand up to anyone.

The Swiss have few attacking options, but perhaps their biggest is their captain, 30-year-old Alexander Frei.

Frei broke his arm earlier in the spring. Although he had plenty of time to recover from that, he then injured his ankle last Thursday in a training session. Frei is still a question mark for the first game versus Spain, although he should be good to go for the other two games.

Set pieces and counter attack will be Switzerland's best chance to maybe get a goal and stay within reach of Spain. A 0-0 game or 1-1 score are outside possibilities. If they give Spain two goals, it is probably curtains for the Swiss.

One positive way the Swiss can look at the game is not expecting to get a point out of it. But, they must figure, Chile and Honduras will be thinking the same thing when they play Spain. A single point would be a bonus if they could steal it.

Hopefully Hitzfeld and his boys didn't watch Germany thumping Australia on Sunday, or they might get really depressed heading into Wednesday's showdown with Spain.