Wales will meet Switzerland to kick off their Euro 2020 tournament campaigns in Baku on Saturday. The Welsh and Swiss will hope to progress to the knockout stage of the competition, but with a strong Italy and good Turkey team in Group A, the sides may be eyeing a second- or third place finish to get through to the next round.

The Welsh are under caretaker manager Rob Page as manager Ryan Giggs goes through legal issues following personal problems. Page will hope the team can get back to winning ways after poor results over the course of the last 180 minutes of friendly football. Wales lost 3-0 to France before drawing nil-nil versus Albania.

Switzerland are on a six-match winning streak in all competitions. While Wales stuttered in their friendlies before the Euros, Switzerland defeated the United States 2-1 and Liechtenstein 7-0. Italy are the favourites to go through Group A as winners. The real fight is likely to be between Wales, Switzerland and Turkey to finish second.

The four best third-place teams at the Euros will advance to the knockout stage. One of those third-place teams could come from Group A. Page will hope the Welsh team can conjure up the same results they obtained in 2016. Unfortunately, Wales may not be able to surprise opponents like they did five years ago.

Wales vs Switzerland Betting Odds

 

Wales and Switzerland have met seven times in their histories. The Swiss lead the head-to-head series of games versus Wales with a record of 5W-0D-2L. The teams first met in 1949 with Switzerland claiming a 4-0 victory. The nations have not met since the 2011 Euro tournament qualifying stage. Wales won the last meeting between the teams 2-0.

Leading sportsbooks have Wales at odds of 3/1 to win the match at full-time. The Welsh are coming off of two games without a win. They were defeated 3-0 by France before a scoreless draw with Albania. Wales have had a good 18 months, however. They posted a record of 7W-3D-3L. In 2021, Wales have played five times with two wins being collected against Mexico and the Czech Republic. They won by identical 1-0 scorelines. Wales do not score a lot of goals and rely heavily on defence.

Switzerland are at odds of 5/4 to win at full-time versus Wales. The Swiss are on a great run of form. Two of Switzerland’s last four matches ended in wins to nil. Coach Vladimir Petkovic has a solid if unspectacular team. The Swiss may not have the goalscoring to send them deep into the Euros despite their 7-0 win against Liechtenstein.

The match between Wales and Switzerland could be a low scoring game. Defence could be the word of the day when the sides meet in Baku.

Wales vs Switzerland  Team News

The calibre of Switzerland’s last five opponents – Ukraine, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Finland and USA – indicate that they may be flat-track bullies. The issue for Petkovic is that several of his players arrive at the tournament with few minutes played over the last season. Defender Fabian Schar missed much of the season at Newcastle United due to injury. Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri was mostly left out of the team.

Torino full-back Ricardo Rodriguez is the one to watch for Switzerland. He scored in the team’s friendly win versus the United States. He will be a constant threat. Goalscoring from the forwards could be an issue. Strikers Breel Embolo, Mario Gavranovic, and Haris Seferovic are the team’s three forwards. Each is experienced by may not be good enough at this stage.

The team’s Euro 2016 tournament heroics will be difficult, if not impossible, to recreate. Gareth Bale is the only star in the team. Since leading Wales to the knockout stage in France, Bale’s career has come off the rails. His club future is up in the air with Real Madrid desperate to get his wages off the payroll.

The players to watch for Wales could be Liverpool’s Harry Wilson, who spent last season on loan at Cardiff City, and Cardiff City’s Kieffer Moore. Both players can score and create goals. If they can replicate their club form for the national side, the pressure will be off of Bale, allowing him to succeed. Compared to the rest of Group A, Wales are short on talent throughout the squad. Even though Switzerland aren’t blessed with Europe’s best squad, they gel well together.

Wales vs Switzerland Prediction

Both teams to score: NO @ 4/6 - BET NOW

 

Wales do not score many goals. They have scored just three goals in their last five matches. Each of their last two games ended with Wales failing to score goals. Wales’ final preparation friendly ended nil-nil with Albania. Two of Switzerland’s last four matches in all competitions ended with both teams not scoring. They won both matches.

Half time result: Draw @ 10/11 - BET NOW

 

Wales should stifle Switzerland early on. However, the Welsh may struggle to score goals versus the Swiss. Wales’ last two matches in all competitions saw the first half finish as draws. Both times the score was nil-nil. Switzerland are also capable of playing defensive football. This game shouldn’t be filled with goals.

Under 2.5 goals scored @ 4/9 - BET NOW

 

Three of Wales last five international matches finished with under 2.5 goals scored. The first match of the tournament for the Welsh should be another game with few goals scored. Wales are not great in the final third. Meanwhile, two of Switzerland’s top players Shaqiri and Schar did not play much during the last club football season. Although they have been training and playing with the national team since the end of May, Switzerland’s core players may struggle to shake the rust off early on.

Even with some rusty stars for the first game, Switzerland should narrowly win versus Wales. The Welsh’s wins over poor competition in 2021 shouldn’t be a factor until later on in the group stage. The Swiss should win on matchday 1 in Group A in a low scoring, potentially dull, match.