Le News takes a shot at describing Switzerland’s chances in the World Cup.
Switzerland’s 2-1 win over Ecuador last Sunday is an encouraging start, so before discounting the country’s chances of going far in the World Cup, let’s take a look at some of its past and current performances.
Noting how well the Swiss are now playing, you wouldn’t believe that it was only two decades ago that the team came out of an extended dry spell. It had previously failed to qualify for any World Cups between 1966 and 1994. Switzerland is now number six in FIFA’s World Rankings – and a quiet favourite among other Europeans.
In the 18 international matches Switzerland has played over the past two years, it has only lost one. The Swiss have a team to be reckoned with and it is the top-seeded country in Group E, where it still has to play France and Honduras.
Switzerland’s chances rely heavily on star player Xherdan Shaqiri, who is of Kosovar descent. He is a talented winger who has done his share of club football with Bayern Munich, the current German Champions. Switzerland will also need a big lift from its captain, Gökhan Inler. Inler had a big part in Switzerland’s qualifying campaign, contributing two goals and two assists in the 10 games that he played. Josip Drmić will also prove vital; his goal scoring ability can make or break Switzerland’s chances. Drmić has been in scorching form as of late, scoring 17 goals in 33 games for Nuremberg.
Following Switzerland’s victory over Ecuador, the team has a good chance of getting out of the first group stage. If it finishes second, it will most likely come up against Argentina, a tough contender. It will then have a hard time going any further. In the unlikely event that it finishes first in its group (you never know) it will most likely face Bosnia, a team that it could feasibly beat.
Switzerland’s next game against France on 20 June at 21h00 is nevertheless likely to be a challenge that will demand full-on effort from the entire team. Hop Suisse!