SATURDAY FOOTBALL MULTI OFFER
After pipping Belgium to first place in the group stages of the inaugural Nations League, Switzerland will have been disappointed with the way they’ve started out this time.
A draw at home to Germany was a solid enough result, but defeat in their opening match against the Ukraine leaves them with a mountain to climb, especially as they were always unlikely to keep pace with heavyweights Spain and Germany.
Spain can be more satisfied with their opening games as they picked up a useful point away in Germany, before thumping Ukraine 4-0 as their rivals dropped points. La Roja have now won 10 of 14 unbeaten matches and so it’s easy to see why they start as short-priced favourites.
Meanwhile, Switzerland lost out 2-1 to a depleted Croatia outfit on Wednesday night and although neither side put out a full strength team, it only adds to the poor run of form the Swiss find themselves in.
Luis Enrique’s men are also more prolific in home surroundings. Whereas they’ve drawn 1-1 with each of Norway, Sweden and Germany in their past three on their travels, back at home they regularly dominate teams with 23 unanswered goals there in five outings since June 2019.
Spain To Win To Nil, Spain -1 Handicap
Putting a combined 11 past the Faroe Islands and Malta can be ignored, but victories over Sweden (3-0), Romania (5-0) and the Ukraine (4-0) demonstrate their talents.
In fact, going back to September 2017, Spain have also recorded big wins over Italy (3-0), Argentina (6-1) and Croatia (6-0). They’ve lost just three times at home in 59 outings, so there should be no upset here.
Still, Switzerland cannot be underestimated as they’ve only lost four of nine encounters with elite outfits Belgium, England, Germany, Portugal and Spain since October 2017.
However, with just the solitary victory over this period and with each of those four defeats coming on their travels, Spain shouldn’t have too much trouble wrestling the spoils here.
PRICE BOOSTS MAX BET £10
Xherdan Shaqiri missed the last international break and now has to sit out these fixtures after testing positive for Covid-19.
The “Alpine Messi” has a creative spark lacking in his teammates and although he’s never produced the outrageous consistently enough to merit much first team action at a big club, he’ll still be a big loss for the national side having bagged 22 goals in 82 caps.
Vladimir Petkovic does have talent to call upon including Yann Sommer, Granit Xhaka and Breel Embolo, but he does have one or two other absentees to contend with Newcastle centre-back Fabian Schar, right-back Kevin Mbabu and striker and new Celtic signing Albian Ajeti are also unavailable.
Haris Seferovic scored with Switzerland’s only shot on target against the Ukraine on matchday one, and a lack of chances against Spain will surely be punished.