In the Switzerland Euro 2016 preview, we look at the team’s schedule and roster, as well as predicting how far they’ll advance in the tournament, and which players to watch out for.

Switzerland Euro 2016 preview

Manager: Vladimir Petkovic

Captain: Stephan Lichtsteiner

Switzerland Euro 2016 team preview: Fixtures:

Saturday, June 11

Albania vs. Switzerland, 9am, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, Sling TV, Sling Latino and WatchESPN (tickets)

Wednesday, June 15

Romania vs. Switzerland, Noon, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, Sling TV, Sling Latino and WatchESPN (tickets)

Sunday, June 19

Switzerland vs. France, 3pm, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, Sling TV, Sling Latino and WatchESPN (tickets)

SEE MORE: Complete schedule of Euro 2016 games on US TV and streaming

Switzerland Euro 2016 team preview: Squad:

Goalkeepers : Roman Buerki (Borussia Dortmund), Marwin Hitz (Augsburg), Yann Sommer (Borussia Moenchengladbach).

Defenders: Johan Djourou (Hamburg SV), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Michael Lang (FC Basel), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Francois Moubandje (Toulouse), Ricardo Rodriguez (VfL Wolfsburg), Fabian Schaer (Hoffenheim), Steve Von Bergen (Young Boys)

Midfielders: Valon Behrami (Watford), Blerim Dzemaili (Genoa), Gelson Fernandes (Rennes), Fabian Frei (Mainz 05), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City), Granit Xhaka (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Denis Zakaria (Young Boys)

Forwards: Eren Derdiyok (Kasimpasa), Breel Embolo (FC Basel), Admir Mehmedi (Bayer Leverkusen), Haris Seferovic (Eintracht Frankfurt), Shani Tarashaj (Grasshoppers)

Switzerland Euro 2016 team preview

Switzerland Euro 2016 team preview: Overview:

Switzerland were viewed by many as one of the possible dark horses for the 2014 World Cup and they impressed in bursts in Brazil before being eliminated by finalists Argentina in extra-time in the last 16. Two years on and Petkovic, taking over from the veteran coach Ottmar Hitzfeld at a major tournament, had a more experienced crop to choose from.

Much of the qualifying phase was a transitional process for this group. With Hitzfeld gone, new methods and personnel were tried. Going forward they weren’t able to put patterns together and it wasn’t until their third match against minnows San Marino they actually found the back of the net.

From there they kicked on and a lot of concerns that lingered over this group of players at the beginning of qualifying have gone. Petkovic has got his feet under the desk, impinged his way of playing and suddenly the Swiss look like a team capable of doing some damage this summer.

Yann Sommer is one of the most exciting goalkeepers in the Bundesliga, while full-backs Lichtsteiner and Ricardo Rodriguez are arguably the standout pairing in the tournament. Arsenal-bound Granit Xhaka offers a dynamic box-to-box presence in central midfield, while Xherdan Shaqiri adds stardust to their attacking play.

The most fascinating area of the team will be the forward positions. Breel Embolo is a star in the making, although still untested at the very highest level; he could be a wildcard selection, but Admir Mehmedi or Haris Seferovic may be considered safer bets to lead the line.

In a group containing host nation France the Swiss will feel they have a lot to prove, especially after France thrashed them 5-2 in the World Cup. If Petkovic can get these players functioning in their forward forays and organised at the back, then the natural talent can come to the fore and Switzerland can go a long way.

Switzerland Euro 2016 team preview: Key Player:

Granit Xhaka – After enjoying a tremendous campaign with Borussia Monchengladbach in 2015-16, Xhaka looks to be on his way to English football. And with that big move in mind, he’s a player plenty will be keeping an eye on this summer.

The 23-year-old plays a key role for the Swiss too. Perhaps most importantly, Xhaka has a defensive job to do, protecting what is arguably the weak point of this side, the centre-back pairing. He’s shown on numerous occasions he’s got the energy and ferocity to do that job, but the midfielder is so much more than a spoiler.

Don’t expect Xhaka to win it back and lay the ball off; he can drive forward, commit opponents and fire shots off at goal. He’s the heartbeat of this side and a player capable of enmeshing all facets of this talented XI.

Switzerland Euro 2016 team preview: Verdict:

Remarkably, Switzerland have never made it beyond the group stages at the European Championships; they have enough to ensure that changes at this tournament. Getting the better of host nation France will be tough, meaning a second placed finish and a last 16 meeting with an equally talented Poland team is on the cards.

If you have any questions about the Switzerland Euro 2016 preview, let us know in the comments section below.

Euro 2016 team previews

• Albania team preview
• Austria team preview
• Belgium team preview
• Croatia team preview
• Czech Republic team preview
• England team preview
• France team preview
• Germany team preview
• Hungary team preview
• Iceland team preview
• Italy team preview
• Northern Ireland team preview
• Poland team preview
• Portugal team preview
• Republic of Ireland team preview
• Romania team preview
• Russia team preview
• Slovakia team preview
• Spain team preview
• Sweden team preview
• Switzerland team preview
• Turkey team preview
• Ukraine team preview
• Wales team preview

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