Wales vs Switzerland preview: How to watch, team news,
predicted lineups and ones to watch
Photo by Matthew Lewis - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Wales will be looking to begin their Euro 2020 campaign positively as they face Switzerland in Baku on Saturday 12 June.

The year-long delayed European Championships kicked off last night as Italy beat Turkey 3-0 to go top of Group A.

Wales will be hoping to rekindle the magic of their previous European Championships, where, under the guidance of Chris Coleman, the Dragons were the surprise package of Euro 2016.

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They topped their group before beating Northern Ireland in the round of 16. They then stunned Belgium’s ‘golden generation’ with a 3-1 victory before being knocked out at the semi-final stage by eventual winners Portugal.

Just eight players remain from that magical summer for Wales, but they have reasons to be optimistic with the bright, promising crop of talent that they have at their disposal.

A dent in their preparations is the dismissal of Ryan Giggs, who was replaced by assistant Robert Page due to an impending court case.

Switzerland will be hoping to get out of the group stage for just the second time in the past five tournaments, having been eliminated in the round of 16 by Poland at Euro 2016. They will be confident in doing so coming into this summer, having won each of their last six matches.

La Nati have a balanced squad and are a side known for grinding out results. They managed to top a difficult qualifying group without arguably their star man, Xherdan Shaqiri, who missed most of the campaign with an injury. However, looking beyond their starting XI, they do not have much strength and quality in depth.

  • Team news

Page will have a selection headache as he decides whether to play with a three or a four at the back.

Another problem he has found is who he will pick as his ‘centre forward’. In their two friendlies ahead of the tournament, Page opted to use Harry Wilson and Aaron Ramsey in that role. However, Kieffer Moore has pushed for that starting spot, as the 20-goal forward impressed in his limited time off the bench.

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Both teams, however, are said to have a clean bill of health ahead of the tournament.

  • Predicted line-ups

Wales (3-4-3):

Ward; Rondon, Mepham, Davies; Roberts, Allen, Ramsey, Roberts; Brooks, Moore, Bale.

Switzerland (3-4-1-2):

Sommer; Elvedi, Akanji, Schar; Mbabu, Xhaka, Freuler, Rodriguez; Shaqiri; Gavranovic, Seferovic.

Form guide

Both sides played two warm-up matches ahead of their meeting in Baku.

The Dragons were beaten 3-0 by world champions France on Wednesday 2 June. Neco Williams was harshly dismissed on the 26th minute, which saw France take charge of the game, with Kylian Mbappé, Antoine Griezmann, and Ousmane Dembélé getting on the scoresheet for Les Bleus.

Wales then improved in their second game, performing well in possession but, ultimately, fell short in the final third in a goalless draw with Albania.

Switzerland fell behind to a fifth-minute Sebastian Lleget opener, but they turned the friendly around to win 2-1 against the USA with goals from Ricardo Rodriguez and Steven Zuber.

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La Nati then romped to a 7-0 victory over Liechtenstein, with Mario Gavranovic grabbing a hat-trick. Christian Fassnacht also bagged a brace with Edimilson Fernandes and an own goal from Noah Frick wrapping up the contest.

  • Ones to watch

Wales – Kieffer Moore

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Moore comes into Euro 2020 off the back of an impressive campaign, where he netted 20 goals in 41 Championship games for Cardiff City.

The 28-year-old is a robust centre forward, who is dominant in the air. He is a player who Wales can utilise in their 3-4-3 to bring forwards Gareth Bale and David Brooks into play.

Wales will come up against some strong centre-backs in their group games, so someone like Moore would help to throw a spanner in the works to dismantle the backlines of their opponents.

Switzerland – Grant Xhaka

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Granit Xhaka is a name that has divided opinion amongst those at Arsenal, but it is hard to argue against his importance on the national front.

Xhaka is a strong, tough-tackling defensive midfielder who has thrived in that pivot role alongside Atalanta’s Remo Freuler in the Swiss centre. His stability and strength in the middle helps to hold the side together, as well as helping guide the Rossocrociati’s young players in the squad.

With a move to Roma in the pipeline, the Swiss captain could use this tournament to build momentum ready for a fresh start in Italy.

  • Previous meetings

Out of their seven meetings, Wales have only beaten Switzerland on two occasions.

One of those victories came in their last meeting in the Euro 2012 qualifiers as Wales came away with a 2-0 win.

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Ramsey put the Dragons ahead from the penalty spot before Bale rounded off a great win for Wales.

Both sides failed to qualify, though, as England topped Group G.

  • What the managers have said

Wales interim manager Page expressed his pride to lead his country at a major tournament.

"To be head coach, leading the boys out is going to be a great moment for me and an extremely proud day,” he said, speaking pre-match.

“[Whatever I say to the players] will be from the heart – tactics go out of the window then.

“What the Red Wall, the fans back home, want to see is you representing your country.

“[The players] will be ready, but they can't be too fired up because they have to play with their heads as well. It's about getting that balance right."

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La Nati boss Vladimir Petković explained the dangers that Wales possess.

"[Wales] are awkward customers: very compact defensively and good in one-on-one situations,” he said, speaking in his pre-match press conference.

“They also have a lot of good quality in the final third of the pitch.

“We want to dominate play, we want to get hold of the ball, we want to dictate the tempo of the game and we also want to have a cutting edge in the final third and score goals.

“To do all of that we need to be very focused.”

  • How to watch

For UK viewers, the game kicks off at 14:00 on BBC One.

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