Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Nations League clash between Switzerland and Portugal, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
In Group 2 of League A, the leaders meet the bottom of the table on Sunday UEFA Nations League Showdown as pointless Switzerland Page Welcome group leader Portugal to Geneva.
The hosts suffered a 1-0 defeat against Spain on Thursday evening Fernando Santos2-0 victory for the Czech Republic team.
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Switzerland’s chances of progressing to the Nations League finals have always been viewed as slim, but an unsatisfactory result this weekend could seal their fate in that regard after a disastrous start to the new cycle.
After losing away to the Czech Republic and Portugal, Switzerland returned to their home comforts and hosted Spain on Thursday night Pablo Sarabia‘s efforts decided the competition in La Roja’s favour.
Murat JakinUnsurprisingly, the Wales men are at the bottom of the rankings as one of just two sides in the four League A groups still to have a point – the other being Wales, who have played a game in hand – and they cannot advance any further before this month is up.
Switzerland have been a ubiquitous presence in the A division since the Nations League began but are certainly now fearing for their safety in the top flight and Yakin’s side could have done without that loss of confidence before testing themselves in Qatar.
It’s now four losses and one draw in their last five games for the Rossocrociati, who have won just one of their last five Nations League games on home soil and could desperately use a summer of rest and recuperation ahead of the September games.
With one foot already in the 2022-23 Nations League final, Portugal continue to pull away from Iberian counterparts Spain at the top of the rankings this week and were in no mood to suffer fear against a resilient Czech side last time out.
First half tees off Goncalo Guedes and João Cancelo ended the tie as the Selecao continue to intensify preparations for the 2022 World Cup, although coach Fernando Santos was frustrated his side couldn’t capitalize on their dominance to score more goals midweek.
Nonetheless, the Selecao have a two-point lead over Spain at the top of the rankings, although La Roja will expect to overtake the Czechs on their own soil, leaving the onus on Portugal to avoid a shock result against the leaders’ whipping lads.
While Switzerland have lost four and drawn one in their last five games, Portugal have instead recorded four wins and one draw and Santos’ side have not suffered a single defeat away from home in the Nations League since their inception.
Cristiano Ronaldo was in the double when Portugal beat Switzerland 4-0 just a week ago, giving the Selecao their third win of the game, although their last game on Swiss turf at a 2018 World Cup ended in a 2-0 loss -Qualification.
Form of the Nations League Switzerland:
Swiss form (all competitions):
Form of the Portugal Nations League:
Portugal form (all competitions):
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Switzerland will have a defender Fabian Schar back from a one-game ban to visit Portugal which could force itself with it Eray Comert to accept a place on the bench as a partner of Newcastle United Manuel Akanji.
Nico Elvedi Completely missed mid-week and remains doubtful next to it Reuben Vargabut Yakin shouldn’t hesitate to make a number of changes either way.
Noah Okafor and Renato Steffen can freshen up a shot-shy attack that has only scored one goal in the Nations League so far Jibril Sov is to displace in the line Michel Aebischer in the middle.
As for Portugal, none of them Richard Horta, Domingo’s Duarte or Matheus Nunes was in the squad for the win against the Czechs but the trio are hoping to earn a few minutes here after a busy two weeks.
Santos has no injury or suspension concerns whatsoever but could be tempted to hand the veteran over Pepe a calm that could see David Carmo finally make his debut for the national team.
It would also come as no surprise if Cristiano Ronaldo was relegated to the bench, especially after receiving a yellow card on Matchday 3 Andre Silva Fight to return to the forward line.
Switzerland possible starting line-up:
Summer; Lotomba, Schar, Akanji, Rodríguez; Freuler, sow; Steffen, Shaqiri, Okafor; Embolo
Portugal possible starting line-up:
Patricio; Dalot, Pereira, Carmo, Mendes; B. Silva, Moutinho, Fernandes; Jota, A. Silva, Leao
We say: Switzerland – Portugal 1:2
Switzerland have seemed unimaginative on the attacking front for much of their Nations League campaign so far, but the prospect of a major move in Portugal could play into Yakin’s side in front of their home crowd.
On the other hand, Portugal need no lessons in finding the back of the net themselves, even if Santos makes a big decision in relation to Ronaldo, and the Selecao should maintain their healthy lead at the top before flying off on their well-deserved vacation.
For a data analysis of the most likely outcomes, goal scores and more for this game, please click here.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com predict under 2.5 goals in this game. Click here to find out what else they predict for this game and for more of their football best tips.Under 2.5:Data