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Switzerland vs France: Team Sheets & analysis

Switzerland vs France live: Team Sheets, Start time, Analysis – FIFA World Cup 2014

June 20, 2014 By Roxane Coche
Last Friday, France enjoyed renewed success in a World Cup match for the first time since their victorious semi-final against Portugal on July 5, 2006.

The convincing 3-0 win against Honduras in Porto Alegre was also the first time les Bleus won their opening World Cup match since the 1998 tournament, during which current manager Didier Deschamps was captain of the squad.

Team France is now hoping to confirm their good performance against Switzerland in Salvador do Bahia. After a catastrophic 2010 World Cup and a difficult qualification campaign for this year’s competition, Benzema and his teammates have been growing momentum since their 3-0 win against Ukraine at the Stade de France near Paris in November. Not only did this victory qualify France for the current World Cup, it was also the birth of something strong, as captain Hugo Lloris explained on several occasions since.

Despite losing star Franck Ribéry on an injury earlier this month, the French team seems to have kept this balance found late last year. But Lloris warns: “As of now, everything is going well, but the balance is still frail. We have to maintain it daily with victories. We have to keep the same dynamic.”

Switzerland is the highest team of group E in FIFA rankings (6th), well ahead of France only at the 17th position. Yet, Swiss manager Ottmar Hitzfeld insists the game is 50-50. Impressed by France’s recent matches, Hitzfeld compared the French team to a machine. He predicts that his team will need to be particularly quick when attacking, hinting at a strategy based on counter-attacks.

Hitzfeld also reminded everyone that France easily beat Jamaica 8-0 in their last friendly before flying to Brazil, while Switzerland had struggled to win (1-0) against the same team a few days before. Yet, Hitzfeld says the Swiss “fear no one” and they will want to do well against a “neighbor. It is like a derby, he says. We want to write a page of history, and for that to happen we will have to be there 100%, and play with our guts, with everything we have.”

On the other side, Didier Deschamps mentioned Switzerland’s victory against Brazil last August in Basel (1-0) to emphasize that either team can win despite France being seen as the favorite. France has indeed never lost against the Swiss. Yet, Deschamps insists that both teams are on “an equal footing” and expects a “tough match.”

For the spectators, the match is mainly a contest between two teams filled with exciting young players from the best European clubs. Players such as Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern Münich), Granit Xhaka (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Valentin Stocker (Hertha Berlin), Josip Drmic (Bayer Leverkusen) and Ricardo Rodriguez (Wolfsburg) should once again start for Switzerland, while Team France should feature the likes of Paul Pogba (Juventus), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint Germain), and Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad). 

Team sheets

France XI vs Switzerland: Lloris, Debuchy, Evra, Varane, Sakho, Cabaye, Valbuena, Giroud, Benzema, Matuidi, Sissoko

Switzerland XI vs France: Benaglio, Lichtsteiner, Von Bergen, Inler, Seferovic, Xhaka, Behrami, Rodriguez, Mehmedi, Djourou, Shaqiri

Switzerland v France - Key facts:

Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador 

Kick-off: 5 pm EST

Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Holland).

Written by Roxane Coche.


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