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Tournament favourites France ended up topping the group of death ahead of Germany and Portugal, but they’re yet to hit top stride this summer, with a stalemate against Hungary on matchday two a slight concern. 3-0 victories over both Wales and Bulgaria in warm-up friendlies were more encouraging, though aside from those results, the only other teams they’ve beaten by more than a single goal in their last 13 came against Kazakhstan and Bulgaria.
Still, Les Bleus have lost just once in 23 matches, winning 17 of them, and certainly possess the necessary tournament experience having reached the final of Euro 2016 and landed the 2018 World Cup with the same core of players.
Karim Benzema has joined the party and registered his first goals for the national side since 2015 in the 2-2 draw with Portugal last time out, but while they have an embarrassment of riches going forwards, it’s the midfield axis of Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante that offers a measure of control to proceedings.
Switzerland should offer a stern test having lost just once in 10 matches now, winning seven of the past nine.
However, the best teams they’ve beaten from this spell have been the Ukraine in the Nations League, a friendly against the United States, as well as their final group game against a Turkey side that disappointed this summer as they finished their Euro campaign without a point to show for their efforts.
France -1 Handicap Draw
A 3-0 defeat to Italy in the group stages would suggest they’ll struggle here, but Switzerland have typically acquitted themselves well against the big guns of world football in recent times.
Since the start of Euro 2016, the Swiss are W2-D7-L7 against elite outfits Belgium, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
However, only three of those defeats saw them go down by more than a single goal, so they should remain competitive even if they fall short here.
Nine of the last 13 such encounters since 2018 saw both teams find the net. Before facing the Italians, who have won without conceding in 11 consecutive matches ahead of the knockout stages, Switzerland had scored in four of five meetings with these elite sides during 2020.
They failed to take a win as they drew three times and lost twice, but they’re capable of registering a consolation effort.
Both Teams To Score
Switzerland have found the net in 18 of 23 games in major tournaments or the Nations League since the start of Euro 2016.
Moreover, France have a potential weakness at left-back with Lucas Hernandez a major doubt and Lucas Digne ruled out, meaning right-back Leo Dubois could end up playing out of position.
In the Nations League or this edition of the Euros, Didier Deschamps’ men have registered just four clean sheets from their past 12, with six of their eight victories over this spell coming by a one-goal margin.