Spain vs. Switzerland: Time, lineups, TV, streams, odds, prediction for Euro 2021 quarterfinal match
The Spain vs. Switzerland quarterfinal is a matchup of two teams that didn’t look like they could get to this point when they stumbled out of the gates.
But both sides have improved as the tournament progressed and they’re now playing some of the best soccer of the tournament. Spain, ranked No. 6 in the world, will be the favorite to advance, but No. 13 Switzerland is hitting its stride with its best players producing in big spots.
The winner of this match in St. Petersburg, Russia will have another tough semifinal ahead: The Italy vs. Belgium winner will be the next opponent.
Watch: Spain vs. Switzerland streaming on fuboTV (free 7-day trial)
ESPN will carry the match in English. Fans can also stream it on fuboTV with a free 7-day trial. It will be streamed in Spanish on Univision’s PrendeTV.
The early struggles for Spain weren’t necessarily down to poor play. Luis Enrique’s side hasn’t had issues when it comes to creating scoring chances (a tournament-high 10.6 expected goals). It’s finishing them off that has let them down at key moments.
But with two consecutive five-goal outbursts that have featured a number of different goal scorers, the Spaniards showed that they’re not reliant on any one single attacker to carry them. It will still be a relief that starting center forward Alvaro Morata was able to brush off the critics with a spectacular game-winner against Croatia.
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Against a Swiss side that has conceded chances — it has the highest “expected goals against” metric of any of the quarterfinalists by a wide margin (7.5) — Spain can expect that its playmakers and runners will find a way through the Swiss defense. What happens in front of goal could be another story.
Switzerland hadn’t advanced to the quarterfinals of a major competition since 1938 and it finally got over the hump with a shock ouster of pre-tournament favorites France. Down 3-1 with 15 minutes remaining, that Round of 16 matchup looked like another lost cause for the Swiss, until their improbable comeback.
They’ve arrived to this point on the back of timely goals by an underrated attacking front that has finally put it together: Benfica striker Haris Seferovic, Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri and German Bundesliga players Breel Embolo and Steven Zuber.
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Captain and midfield general Granit Xhaka, has also been a major contributor with his tidy passing and tactical nous, but he will miss the match due to suspension. Bundesliga all-terrain midfielders Denis Zakaria or Djibril Sow will be his likely replacement, with the latter probably coming closest to matching Xhaka’s skill set.
Spain (4-3-3, left to right): 23-Simon — 18-Alba, 4-P. Torres, 24-Laporte, 2-Azpilicueta — 26-Pedri, 5-Busquets, 8-Koke — 22-Sarabia, 7-Morata, 11-F. Torres
Switzerland (5-3-2, left to right): 1-Sommer — 14-Zuber, 13-Rodriguez, 5-Akanji, 4-Elvedi, 3-Widmer — 8-Freuler, 23-Shaqiri, 6-Zakaria — 7-Embolo, 9-Seferovic
The Swiss will feel good about their chances to keep it close based on their recent Nations League matches against Spain: a 1-1 home draw and 1-0 loss in Spain. And if not for an 89th minute equalizer, the Swiss would’ve won that home game.
But the personnel for Spain has changed since those 2020 matchups and the squad is different all over the field. Pedri has emerged as a cog in midfield, Pablo Sarabia has become a reliable winger and Aymeric Laporte and Eric Garcia are now the mainstays in central defense.
Although it may very well turn into another tight affair, it’s unlikely the Swiss can spring a second straight surprise without their captain. The sportsbooks are thinking along those lines based on the odds that are out there.
The best play available involves “Spain to score first and win” but the Asian Handicaps are attractive if you believe this will be a multi-goal win for Spain. If the likely outcome materializes and Spain takes the lead, the match should open up and Spain’s goal-scoring opportunities should increase as a result.
Prediction: Spain 3, Switzerland 1
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
Article Found At – Sporting News