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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Group H - Switzerland

Nickname – Schweizer Nati

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING

In a very competitive qualifying group with the likes of Israel, Latvia and Greece, the Swiss’s made it through in the first place losing and drawing only once, winning all the rest grabbing 21 points. White Chocolate’s Striker Alexander Frei scored 5 times in their 18 goals in total.

H2H

Jun 16 Durban Spain v Switzerland - No lucky for Switzerland. They will take the Rolexes and the chocolates but the win will stay with Spain. Out of the 18 encounters the best they could do was to get 3 draws and losing 15 times against the European Champions and hot candidate to win this world cup.

Jun 21 Pt Elizabeth Chile v Switzerland - Here’s another case of slight differences regarding competitive matches. Switzerland took the best of the h-2-h winning 2 games against 1 from Chile, but the only match played in official competitions saw Chile edge Swiss 3-1 in the 1962 World Cup that actually they hosted.

Jun 25 Bloemfontein Switzerland v Honduras - No matches played. The only last two times Honduras lost against European sides was this year with Turkey and then you have to go back until the beginning of 2004 to see them losing against Norway. The last 10 matches played by Switzerland have been a total disgrace despite winning 4 out of 10 games.

Goalkeepers: Diego Benaglio (Wolfsburg), Marco Wolfli (Young Boys), Johnny Leoni (Zurich)

Defenders: Stephan Lichtsteiner (Lazio), Philippe Senderos (Everton), Stephane Grichting (Auxerre), Steve von Bergen (Hertha Berlin), Mario Eggimann (Hannover 96), Reto Ziegler (Sampdoria), Christoph Spycher (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Midfielders: Valon Behrami (West Ham), Gokhan Inler (Udinese), Benjamin Huggel (Basel), Pirmin Schwegler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Gelson Fernandes (Saint-Etienne), Tranquillo Barnetta (Bayer Leverkusen), Xherdan Shaqiri (Basel), Marco Padalino (Sampdoria)

Strikers: Alexander Frei (Basel), Blaise Nkufo (Twente), Eren Derdiyok (Bayer Leverkusen), Marco Streller (Basel), Hakan Yakin (Luzern)

FORMATION

Ottmar Hitzfeld currently holds to his native non-creative 4-4-2 formation build essentially around of experienced players. Benaglio; Eggimann, Lichtsteiner, Senderos, Spycher; Barnetta, Padalino, Goekhan Inler, Gelson; Frei & Nkufo.

BEST PLAYERS

Diego Benaglio is a 6’4” goalkeeper that currently plays for Wolfsburg. He is a world performer that possesses agility and rushing out properties and will surely impress in this World Cup. Even though he is only 26 he is the voice of command in the Swiss team and he is the safety insurance on the back. He played 30 matches with the average 4.5 saves per match.

Tranquillo Barnetta had a stunning season with Bayern Leverkusen playing 32 matches scoring 4 goals and assisting 10 matches. He is the most talented player from Switzerland and high expectations surround him because of his ability in the field. He is audacious enough on the one-on-ones factor that determines often the outcome of Swiss’s attack. His versatility and passing delivery make of him a first-rate player that can change a game at any minute by overtaking a defender and crossing for goal’s opportunity. He was the Best Young Player in the 2006 World Cup.

STATEMENTS

"If my father had known I'd be this successful as Switzerland coach - not as Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund coach - he'd have been overjoyed. It's the place we call home, you see." Ottmar Hitzfeld, Switzerland coach

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- Ottmar Hitzfeld –

2 UEFA Champions League – Bayern Munich – 2001/ Borussia Dortmund - 1997;

1 Intercontinental Cup – Bayern Munich - 2001;

7 Bundesliga – Bayern Munich – 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2008/ Borussia Dortmund – 1995, 1996;

3 DFB-Pokal – Bayern Munich – 2000, 2003, 2008;

4 LigaPokal – Bayern Munich – 1998, 1999, 2000, 2007;

2 Super Cup – Borussia Dortmund – 1995, 1996;

Career made of 664 matches with 57% Win, 24% Draw, 19% Loss, GS 1,88 GA 1

SWOT ANALYSIS

Strength – They play as a group even though they have some impressive individuals. Their fighting spirit is the most known quality of Switzerland, but can it be enough to make it better than the last World Cup appearance?

Weaknesses – Beyond Barnetta, Benaglio and Frei they don’t seem to have a strong squad good enough to pass the group stages. They lack depth in their style of play.

Opportunities – Should they beat Chile in the second match they might have hope of qualifying, even though it seems an unattainable task.

Threats – Switzerland, Chile and Honduras will fight bravely to get the second place on this last group. Depending on the result they get from the first match against Spain will establish the confidence for the last 2 matches. And approaching decisive matches with a win is much more different than going for it with a defeat.

FIFA WORLD RANKINGS

Number 26 in the world. Ahead of Ivory Coast and behind Slovenia.

CASTROL INDEX

LATEST 10 MATCHES

Moldova 0 2 Switzerland

Switzerland 2 0 Moldova

Switzerland 0 0 Italy

Switzerland 2 0 Greece

Latvia 2 2 Switzerland

Luxembourg 0 3 Switzerland

Switzerland 0 0 Israel

Switzerland 0 1 Norway

Switzerland 1 3 Uruguay

Switzerland 0 1 Costa Rica


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