Switzerland: World Cup 2014 Team Preview
Best Ever Finish: Quarterfinals (1934, 1938, 1954)
Captain: Gökhan Inler
Manager: Ottmar Hitzfeld
Switzerland’s qualifying campaign was as convincing as they come, topping the group whilst remaining unbeaten throughout.
Set to spring a possible surprise during the summer, Switzerland are something of an unknown entity outside of Europe.
Not too dissimilar to Belgium, they are young developing team looking to establish themselves amongst the elite.
Hitzfeld has fashioned a team comfortable both on and off the ball with a midfield containing remarkable work rate and industry. The trio of attacking midfield players that play behind the striker have a nice blend of intiricate and direct players. Plus, the double-pivot of Inler and Behrami provide the back four with an unyielding shielding presence.
The major concern is that they don’t have a proven goal scorer at the highest level. Centre-back Fabian Schaer was the teams top scorer in qualifying with three goals, which is a pretty damning inditement on their strikers. With the attacking midfielders that look set to line-up for the Schweizer Nati whoever spearheads this Swiss team must find the back of the net with much more consistency.
Nonetheless this energetic outfit are well worth their place as one of the top seeds in the tournament. The group stage of the World Cup is a big step up from the qualifying group. But they have no fear and should play with freedom and vigour. Expect the Swiss to reach the last 16 but no further.
Key Player – Xherdan Shaqiri