Hosts France complete their group games tonight against Switzerland and Jake Jackman returns with a preview and his picks to follow tonight.
Sunday 19th June 2016 – 20:00 BST
EURO 2016 – GROUP A
SWITZERLAND v FRANCE
France are already into the knockout stages, while Switzerland are in a great position to follow suit. Both these sides are unbeaten and it will be another tough test for France, especially as Switzerland have more talented attacking players than both Romania and Albania. Tournaments like these are all about momentum and France will want to go into the knockout stages with three victories under their belt. Meanwhile, Switzerland have picked up two positive results, but their performances have been far from convincing. They will be looking to put in a much improved performance against the hosts and they will be hoping they already have enough points to qualify.
It was a huge risk for Didier Deschamps to drop both Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann, but he was vindicated in his decision. The performance from the starting side wasn’t great, but the decision got a reaction out of the two aforementioned players and that will be a positive moving forwards for France. I expect France to play their strongest line up against Switzerland to try and keep their momentum going into the knockout rounds. Dimitri Payet has been the hosts’ best player so far and he will be keen to continue his goalscoring form against Switzerland.
Meanwhile, Switzerland have been underwhelming to date, and could have easily taken fewer points than the four they have achieved. They have some very talented players, but they have yet to fully settle into the tournament. There are greater things to come from the Swiss, especially Xherdan Shaqiri, who will want to prove that he belongs at this level over the next few matches. Haris Seferovic has missed several good chances in this tournament, and he could be dropped for Breel Embolo this weekend, a player many expected to do great things this summer.
France have won the last two meetings between the two sides at international tournaments, with the last meeting being at the 2014 World Cup. On that occasion, France ran out 5-2 winners in what was an excellent match for the neutral. I don’t expect as many goals this time, and I think under 2.5 goals could be a worthy bet. There has only been over 2.5 goals in one of the four fixtures played in the group to date and I’d expect that theme to continue in this match. Both these sides are well set up and hard to break down, I’d expect that to show on Sunday.
Although France have been far from convincing, I expect them to win their third and final group game to enter the knockout rounds with a 100% record. Switzerland were a side I didn’t expect to get much further than the round of 16 and their opening two matches have shown that to be an accurate description. They struggle to score goals, while at the back they look fallible. It will be a tight match with few goals, but I expect France to come out with the three points.
TIP: France to win (1.95 at Bet365)
TIP: Under 2.5 Goals (1.59 at Marathon Bet)