Switzerland - Lithuania: Hosts look for vital three points

Even at this early stage in qualification for Euro 2016, points are vital as teams look to set the early pace in their respective groups, and get off to a solid start. Igoris Pankratjevas' side have done just that, and are a place above - and three points clear of - Vladimir Petkovic's Switzerland in Group E.

The hosts have had a disappointing start to their Euro 2016 qualification campaign - particularly after a solid World Cup performance in Brazil this summer, where they lost out narrowly in the last 16 to eventual finalists Argentina. It took an extra time Angel di Maria goal to settle the two sides.

Despite that impressive showing, Switzerland have only managed to pick up three points in their opening three fixtures, losing out to England - 2-0 - and more surprisingly, Slovenia - 1-0. A 4-0 win against San Marino was expected, but Petkovic's side are struggling, three points adrift of Lithuania in second place. A victory at home to Pankratjevas' side at St Jakob Park will help them get right back on track with their qualifying expectations.

The visitors have had a surprisingly brighter start to Group E than their hosts, and they find themselves in second place - only behind England who have received the maximum nine points from their opening three games. Lithuania have impressed so far, with a 2-0 win over San Marino and a 1-0 victory against Estonia. Their only loss was a 2-0 defeat to Slovenia in their last qualifying game - a result that leaves them tied with their conquerors in Group E.

We must note the disparity in opponents so far for both these teams, however, with the hosts having the more difficult fixtures. Besides, results do not tell the whole story, and the Swiss have been far from awful so far - they have just struggled to find the target. Petkovic's Switzerland will be eager to get their campaign back on track and will look to key men Xherdan Shaqiri and Gokhen Inler - who have been mostly anonymous so far in the competition - to step up and be counted. Either way, Saturday night will be a big game for these two sides.

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