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Wales aren’t without firepower as key duo Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey are seemingly fit and available, while they’re supplemented by other useful talents Daniel James, Harry Wilson, David Brooks and Kieffer Moore.
Not all of those players will start together though and the latter may be a tad unfortunate to miss out, with Wales looking a little more joined up with the big man’s presence when he came on as a substitute in their warm-up friendlies with Albania and France.
In the absence of Moore, that should mean that Robert Page deploys three centre-backs rather than two, which has typically been the way he’s started games since taking over from Ryan Giggs.
It’s the blueprint that has served Wales well in their success over recent years, and the extra protection afforded to the backline is a sensible approach that’s unlikely to be discarded for the opening game.
That’s especially the case with Switzerland having proven extremely competitive in recent years. They’ve reached the knockout stages in the last two World Cups and Euro 2016, bowing out against Argentina in extra time in 2014, to Poland on penalties two years later, while they even took a point off Brazil during the group stages in Russia in 2018.
They’ve since backed those performances up with a semi-final appearance in the inaugural Nations League, ahead of Belgium, while in the most recent edition of that tournament they managed to retain their League A status.
Vladimir Petkovic has overseen the vast majority of these triumphs as he was appointed in August 2014. Inevitably, some players are no longer around from those earlier successes, such as Stephan Lichtsteiner, Johan Djourou, Gokhan Inler and Valon Behrami.
However, younger replacements have emerged and the current crop can boast Gladbach’s Yann Sommer in goal, a solid back three of Manuel Akanji, Fabian Schar and Nico Elvedi, an excellent midfield axis of Granit Xhaka and Remo Freuler, while key man Xherdan Shaqiri still pulls the strings as the creative hub of the side.
Switzerland enter the tournament off the back of six consecutive victories, though they only led at the break in three of those, against their weakest opponents over this sequence versus Bulgaria, Lithuania and Liechtenstein.
Meanwhile, they led at the break in just one of three group stage matches in each of the past three major tournaments.
HT 0-0 Correct Score
Wales have only been beaten by Belgium, England and France in 19 games since September 2019, with those also the only three matches where they trailed at the break as well.
Excluding those encounters, eight of Wales’ past 10 matches have been goalless at the break, as this clash looks likely to be settled by fine margins too.
0.5pts: Draw/Draw HT/FT At 14/5
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ODDS ARE CORRECT AS OF 09/06/2020 HOWEVER ARE SUBJECT TO FLUCTUATIONS