Switzerland will face Spain in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals tonight.
Spain is the favourite to go to the semi-finals, but they will face a rejuvenated Switzerland in St Petersburg; the winner will face either Belgium or Italy in the semi-finals.
Both teams came through thrilling last-16 encounters, with Spain defeating Croatia in extra time.
On Monday night, Switzerland surprised France by knocking them out on penalties.
Both sides have a recent history. Spain won 1-0 in their inaugural Nations League match in Madrid in October, but were held 1-1 in Basel the following month.
”They’ll be a tough team to face, and I don’t think there will be any big stars to watch, but they’re a wonderful set of players.”
“They’re a match for us in terms of how they press and attack, so it’ll be very difficult for us.”
Enrique again denied the notion that his players were fatigued, saying, “No. It won’t have any impact on us. If you look at the numbers, you’ll notice that we have some amazing folks on the backend, and the numbers are quite impressive.”
“I have complete faith in all 24 players. Physical problems are just as important as mental problems. If things isn’t going right emotionally, you might not be running as well. I believe it is a mental problem rather than a physical one, since we are in excellent physical condition.”
Despite being underdogs against Spain, Switzerland is energised and sure of reaching the semi-finals, according to coach Vladimir Petkovic.
Switzerland pulled off the tournament’s greatest comeback, defeating France in a penalty shootout in Bucharest after rallying from 3-1 behind for a 3-3 tie.
Switzerland will be without suspended midfielder Granit Xhaka, who was sent off against France after receiving his second yellow card of the tournament.
For Spain, there are no new injury or suspension issues.
Tennis legend Roger Federer has expressed his optimism that his country, Switzerland, will be able to advance to the next phase against Spain.
“I was quite pleased with how they fought. It simply goes to show that in sports, particularly football, when a team pulls together and truly believes in one other, they can truly move mountains.
“Now I wish Switzerland all the best.” I’m hoping we can repeat this match, not over-celebrate, and take it to the next level. Going to the semis at a large event like this would be remarkable for us.”
Stats From Opta
This is the first time Switzerland and Spain have met in a European Championship match.
Their previous three matchups in a major tournament were in the 1966, 1994, and 2010 World Cups, with Spain winning the first two and Switzerland winning the most recent.
Switzerland has reached the quarterfinals of two major tournaments (the World Cup and the EURO), but this is their first time in the European Championship.
The Swiss have lost all three of their prior games in this format: 3-2 to Czechoslovakia in 1934, 2-0 to Hungary in 1938, and 7-5 to Austria in 1989. (1954).
Spain has became the first team in the history of the European Championships to score five goals in a row.
They hadn’t scored more than four goals in any of the competition’s first 42 games.
Switzerland has scored three goals in each of their last two European Championship games, after scoring no more than twice in any of their previous 15 matches.
In all competitions, Switzerland last scored three goals in three straight matches in October 2017.
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