Euro 2024: Switzerland vs England: All you need to know about the Swiss team (2024)

Euro 2024: Switzerland vs England: All you need to know about the Swiss team (1)Image source, Getty Images

Neil Johnston

BBC Sport journalist

  • Published

The stage is set in Dusseldorf.

England face Switzerland at 17:00 BST for a place in the semi-finals of Euro 2024 - a match you can watch live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app.

Switzerland have not beaten the Three Lions in the past 13 attempts since 1981, but they have already sent holders Italy packing and were moments away from a famous win over hosts Germany.

They came into the tournament after an underwhelming qualifying campaign which included two draws against Kosovo, who are 105th in Fifa's world rankings.

Yet they are one win from reaching a first major tournament semi-final after an eye-catching 2-0 win over Italy in the last 16.

England, who scraped through against Slovakia in the last 16, were one of the pre-tournament favourites.

But former Three Lions captain Gary Lineker, speaking on The Rest Is Football podcast, said of England's chances against Switzerland: "I don’t think England are big favourites. Far from it."

BBC Sport looks at England's quarter-final opponents.

Raised in Islington, looking to KO England

Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham are not the only players born in England to score at Euro 2024.

Kwadwo Duah, who was raised in Islington, London, found the net in Switzerland's 3-1 Group A win over Hungary on 15 June.

"It was a big moment for my family and me,” said Duah about his goal. “To score the first goal for Switzerland in a European Championship, I don’t think everyone does that, and we were all very happy.

"I was born in London but we don’t have family there anymore. My mum and dad were in Ghana but they had an opportunity to go to England because it offered a better life."

Duah, who plays for Ludogorets in Bulgaria, moved to Switzerland with his parents aged two and is a Chelsea supporter. Will he come up against Cole Palmer on Saturday?

Duah only made his senior Switzerland debut on 4 June in a friendly against Estonia at the age of 27. He has since made three appearances at Euro 2024, one start and two as a substitute.

"We want to show what we can do and we want to play our game," added Duah, when asked about the England match. "We will see [what happens].”

Title winners bring good vibes to Swiss camp

Ten of Switzerland's 26-man squad are aged 30 or over, with the likes of Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and Yann Sommer veterans of tournament football.

Indeed, Shaqiri is the first Swiss player to feature in seven major tournaments after playing in the four previous World Cups and two Euros.

Former Arsenal midfielder Xhaka, 31, is team captain and conductor who has brought the feel-good vibes into the Swiss camp after featuring in Bayer Leverkusen's magnificent Bundesliga triumph under Xabi Alonso.

Xhaka is also Switzerland's record appearance holder.

"Xhaka is so much more controlled and his fitness looks great - he is controlling the entire game," former Scotland winger Pat Nevin, who is in Berlin for BBC Radio 5 Live when Switzerland defeated Italy, said.

Shaqiri, 32, has played only 60 minutes at this tournament but the former Liverpool forward still managed to score a stunning goal against Scotland in the group stage, while goalkeeper Sommer, 35, enjoyed club success in 2023-24 helping Inter Milan win Serie A.

Will back three cause England 'confusion'?

Switzerland's passage into the last eight has been built on a solid three-man defence, with Manchester City's Manuel Akanji, Newcastle United's Fabian Schar and Ricardo Rodriguez, who plays in Italy for Torino, playing every minute of every game in Germany.

The experienced trio, who have a combined age of 91, have 268 caps between them and are well organised and settled.

Akanji offers a calm presence in front of Sommer, Switzerland's number one keeper for the past decade, while Schar is known for his raking passes, with Rodriguez adept on the left-side of the back three.

"Fabian Schar was great against Italy," former England midfielder Danny Murphy told BBC Sport. "The Switzerland back three were great, dictated play and were really well-organised and well-controlled."

Both Serbia and Denmark set up with a back three against England in the group stage.

Three Lions captain Harry Kane suggested that had caused England "confusion on the pitch",, external and the Swiss will hope Akanji, 28, Schar, 32, and Rodriguez, 31, will help propel them to a famous win.

From vote of confidence to semis?

Switzerland boss Murat Yakin received a dreaded vote of confidence from the Swiss FA last November after a difficult qualifying campaign.

Appointed in 2021, Yakin helped Switzerland reach the 2022 World Cup and Euro 2024 but faced criticism over performances.

"Even though we had four draws and lost once in the last qualifying matches, Murat Yakin has all our confidence," Swiss FA President Dominique Blanc said in a statement, external eight months ago.

Basel-born Yakin's fortunes have changed though at Euro 2024 after holding Germany and eliminating Italy.

Switzerland have never made it as far as a tournament semi‑finals, but Yakin said his side were "in a good mood" to face England.

"We played against Germany, we were good, we played against Italy, also a big team, and why can't we beat England?" he added.

"We're in a good mood now. Let's see, it's a good challenge and my team is ready to have this big fight against England."

Image source, Reuters

'Big problem for England' - BBC pundits have their say

Former England defender Rio Ferdinand: "Switzerland will be a big problem for England. They seem to have a real connection with their fans. They have a really good brand and style of football and they look like they are really enjoying themselves."

Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin: "The confidence and belief in the Swiss team is magnificent. Ruben Vargas was really special against Italy. Having watched Switzerland, it will be a joy to see them against England."

Former England midfielder Danny Murphy: "Switzerland are going to be a tough side for anybody. They are a good team with good energy and are well-organised. In many respects, their win over Italy was more dominant than 2-0 in terms of possession and control."

Alistair Bruce-Ball, who commentated on Switzerland's 2-0 win over Italy for BBC Radio 5 Live: "England have got a real game on their hands. Switzerland looked the better team against Italy and deserved their win. There is a temptation to focus on the holders going out but we have got to revel and enjoy the Swiss. The performance, their fans...they were brilliant."

Related Topics

  • Switzerland
  • UEFA Euro 2024
  • Football
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