Lawro’s prediction – Pogba-inspired France to win

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For Monday’s game in Bucharest, French media feel he will use a new formation.

It is thought Deschamps is considering a move to 3-5-2.

That would include Benjamin Pavard and midfielder Adrien Rabiot used as wing backs.

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Map a route to the final
Deschamps – bidding to become the first man to win both the World Cup and European Championship as player and coach – has warned his side must simply “be at our best”.

“We mustn’t under-estimate them and it’s a knockout game so we’ll have to do everything we can to ensure we have smiles on our faces at the end of the match,” said Deschamps, 52.

“They’re a well-structured team and they have good attacking potential with Seferovic, Embolo and Shaqiri.”

France are unsure on the fitness of Digne and Hernandez, have lost Ousmane Dembele to a knee injury for the rest of the tournament, while Marcus Thuram and Thomas Lemar are also nursing injuries.

Juventus’ Rabiot is also carrying a knock but despite the mounting injuries, France are still big favourites to progress past a side who have not reached the last eight of a major tournament in 67 years. A quarter-final against Spain or Croatia awaits the winners.

Key Swiss names find form
Switzerland reached the quarter-finals as one of the best third-place finishers in the group stages.

A confidence-boosting win over Turkey last time out saw key players shine.

Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri scored twice and found good positions to register a game-high seven shots.

Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka won possession eight times – a high for his side – while midfielder Steven Zuber became just the third player in European Championship history to register three assists in one game, joining Denmark legend Michael Laudrup and ex-Portugal playmaker Rui Costa.

Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic said: “In the past couple of years we had great performances against great sides. We need to play to our strengths. Against a side like France, if we both give 100%, it won’t be enough. They’ll have to give 80% and we need to make the most of it.”

The Swiss are competent but they struggled against Italy in the group stage and I am expecting a similar story here.

We have not seen France find their groove yet, or not for long spells of games anyway, but they topped a difficult group and people like Paul Pogba have been excellent.

His passing has been top-drawer and his link-up play with Kylian Mbappe has been impressive too.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Read the rest of Lawro’s predictions here.
Switzerland’s outside chance
Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis, Nielsen’s Gracenote: France began the tournament as third favourites according to the Gracenote World Football Ranking and remain in that position as the tournament goes into the knockout stage. Before the knockout phase beginning, France’s chance of winning Euro 2020 had moved up a little to 11.8%.

Switzerland are ranked 15th in the world on the Gracenote World Football Ranking, putting them at a similar level to Denmark before the Danes played Wales. The Swiss team’s chance of winning Euro 2020 has barely changed from 2.5% pre-tournament to 2.7% now.

With France ranked third in the world by Gracenote, they are strong favourites here to progress to a quarter-final place. The chance that France do that is estimated at 66% with Switzerland holding a 34% chance of pulling off a surprise.

Match facts…

This will be the fifth meeting between France and Switzerland at a major competition (Euro 2004, 2006 World Cup, 2014 World Cup, Euro 2016), but the first in the knockout rounds. France are unbeaten in such matches (W2 D2), with the most recent game finishing goalless at Euro 2016.

France have only lost one of their last 17 matches at Euros and World Cups combined (W12 D4) – the Euro 2016 final against Portugal.
France haven’t lost a competitive match in over two years, with their last such defeat coming against Turkey in a European Championship qualifier in June 2019, winning 14 times and drawing five times since. France last went on a longer unbeaten run in competitive matches from 1994 to 1999, a 27-game run, with current manager Didier Deschamps playing in 21 of them.
Antoine Griezmann has played in each of France’s last 51 matches, in a run that started on 31 August 2017 against the Netherlands – Griezmann is the only player to make more than 50 appearances for a European country since that date.

Switzerland have reached the knockout stages at each of their last four major tournament appearances (2014 World Cup, Euro 2016, 2018 World Cup, Euro 2020) – they were eliminated in their first match following the group stages in each of those previous three instances.
With a double against Turkey last time out, Shaqiri became Switzerland’s all-time top scorer in major tournaments (Euros & World Cup) with seven goals, overtaking Josef Hugi’s six. Shaqiri is Switzerland’s joint-top scorer in European Championship matches with three goals, tied with Hakan Yakin.


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