Euro 2020 round of 16: France vs. Switzerland preview, predictions and team news
The Swiss are ‘not scared’ of facing Mbappe and Co
If Switzerland are to progress to the Euro 2020 quarter-finals then they will have to beat world champions France and stop their talented array of attackers: Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappé.
PSG forward Mbappé has yet to score in the tournament, but his pace and power can cause problems for any defence. In Bucharest on Monday, Switzerland right wing-back Silvan Widmer will likely be tasked with marking the 22-year-old, Uefa.com’s Vieri Capretta reports.
When asked about the French striker, Widmar admitted: “He’s a train. Obviously, if you face a player like Mbappé, you need the help of the whole team. We’ll need to double up on him.”
However, the Swiss defender is ready for the battle. “I’m convinced we’ll be able to stop him,” Widmer said. “We’re not scared.”
The winners will play Croatia or Spain in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals in Saint Petersburg on Friday 2 July.
Kick-off time and TV details
The round of 16 clash between France and Switzerland takes place on Monday 28 June at the National Arena Bucharest in Romania. Kick-off is at 8pm (BST) and the match is live on ITV and ITV Hub.
France team news
Injuries are piling up for French head coach Didier Deschamps, Reuters reports. Midfielder Adrien Rabiot is not yet at 100% while Thomas Lemar suffered a leg injury and Marcus Thuram hurt his right thigh in training on Thursday. Meanwhile, forward Ousmane Dembele has been ruled out of the rest of Euro 2020 with a knee injury and left-back Lucas Digne is unlikely to be fit for the round of 16 tie due to a hamstring problem.
Lucas Hernández is a doubt as he struggles with a knee injury, says David Crossan, Uefa.com’s France reporter. The world champions “reportedly practiced a 3-5-2 in training behind closed doors on Saturday, with Clément Lenglet coming into the back three”.
France possible starting XI: Lloris; Varane, Lenglet, Kimpembe; Pavard, Pogba, Kanté, Griezmann, Rabiot; Mbappé, Benzema
Switzerland team news
Right centre-back Nico Elvedi has recovered from a foot injury and will play in the defensive three alongside Manuel Akanji and Ricardo Rodríguez, says Uefa.com reporter Vieri Capretta. Swiss head coach Vladimir Petković has no other injuries or suspensions to deal with.
Switzerland possible starting XI: Sommer; Elvedi, Akanji, Rodríguez; Widmer, Freuler, Xhaka, Zuber; Shaqiri; Embolo, Seferović
Pundit predictions: who will win?
Alex Pattle, The Independent: “France didn’t look at their best in the first round but still emerged from the ‘group of death’ unbeaten in top spot. They should have the quality and depth to avoid an upset here. Prediction: France 3-0 Switzerland.”
Kumar, SportsKeeda: “France haven’t been at their best at Euro 2020 so far, but a fixture against Switzerland is perhaps exactly what they need. Deschamps will hope his side put in a convincing display against the Swiss and hit the right notes before facing the stronger teams. We are predicting a comfortable win for France. Prediction: France 3-0 Switzerland.”
Ben Knapton, SportsMole: “Switzerland ought to take advantage of France’s depleted left-hand side if Hernandez joins Digne on the sidelines for this contest, but trying to keep [Didier] Deschamps’s side quiet at the other end of the pitch is where the real challenges lie. While we think the Swiss - who have had the luxury of a few more days off - can trouble France’s defence and find the back of the net, Les Bleus should still pull through over the course of 90 minutes, but it is likely to be a closer affair than some may anticipate. We say: France 2-1 Switzerland.”
Steve Luckings, The National: “Switzerland represent one of the more desirable opponents and rarely pull off victories over elite teams at major tournaments. Xherdan Shaqiri scored two spectacular goals in the victory over Turkey and is the creative fulcrum. If France can stifle the Liverpool winger then a place in the quarter-finals should be theirs. Prediction: France into the last eight.”
Mike Tuckerman, The Roar: “I tipped France to win the tournament and I don’t see Switzerland being the team to upset that notion. Despite that, Les Bleus can hardly be satisfied with a group stage that saw them held to back-to-back draws. They’ll have to step up in Bucharest.”