England switch focus to friendly with Switzerland
Xherdan Shaqiri is the star in the Swiss ranks.
England take on Switzerland in an international friendly at Leicester’s King Power Stadium on Tuesday.
The visitors, who lost in the last 16 of the World Cup to Sweden, go into the game having made a flying start to their Nations League campaign.
Here, Press Association Sport takes a closer look at the Swiss.
Switzerland thumped Iceland 6-0 in their opening Nations League game on Saturday, with Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri the standout performer. That followed a solid World Cup, in which they finished second to Brazil in Group E, holding the five-time champions to a 1-1 draw before coming from behind to claim a late 2-1 win over Serbia and then drawing 1-1 with Costa Rica. They lost 1-0 to Sweden in the first knockout round.
Vladimir Petkovic has been in charge of the team since 2014. The 55-year-old, a Sarajevo-born Swiss national, took over the national team following a brief spell at Lazio, during which he won the Coppa Italia. He moved into management after an unspectacular playing career and his other jobs have all been with Swiss clubs, apart from a six-month stint with Turkish outfit Samsunspor.
Switzerland under Petkovic are a stable side, operating a 4-2-3-1 formation. The full-backs are the chief source of width and have a responsibility to get up and down the flanks. Shaqiri, their undoubted star, and Steven Zuber have licence to drift, while Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka helps screen the defence. Their chief weakness, and it is not an insignificant one, is their lack of a proven goal-scorer.
Shaqiri aside, Switzerland are a team without star quality. The diminutive right winger can be a match-winner on his day and has a fierce strike on his left foot, often used when cutting inside from the wing. Elsewhere, goalkeeper Yann Sommer has played Champions League football with Borussia Monchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund’s new signing Manuel Akanji was highly impressive at the World Cup.