Switzerland VS England preview
Tonight in Basel, England yet again begin another qualifying campaign in which they will be expected to qualify comfortably.
But before the match begins, there is no optimism, there isn’t even much expectancy as many England fans will expect the team to struggle tonight as they are away to an impressive Switzerland side.
The negativity surrounding England’s first group E clash is almost like the press and fans combined want England to suffer, just so that change can be demanded, most likely by the way of dismissing Hodgson or making further wholesale changes.
Despite a dismal World Cup campaign, and a drab friendly win against Norway recently, England can make a real statement of intent and show that they are committed enough to the cause and that they are good enough to do well if they can manage a win over Switzerland. The Swiss entered the last World Cup ranked as the seventh best team in the tournament after they eased through their last qualifying campaign before the World Cup, and whilst they are no doubt a good team, they will be far from unbeatable tonight.
England go into the game with injury problems though, Daniel Sturridge is out with a thigh problem and his Liverpool team mate Jordan Henderson picked up an injury problem in training. Jack Colback has been sent back to his club Newcastle after arriving injured with the squad.
It is likely that either Danny Welbeck or Rickie Lambert will start with Wayne Rooney in attack while England’s most in form player at the moment, Raheem Sterling, will look to provide an attacking threat to Switzerland’s full-backs throughout.
Depite Switzerland being noted as a strong, all-round team, they are not without their star men, and in particular Xherdan Shaqiri. The Bayern Munich winger scored a hat-trick during the World Cup group stages against Honduras, and the speedster will likely cause a constant threat to England’s defence.
And like England, their opponents will likely field their exciting youngsters as well, Granit Xhaka, Josip Drmic and Ricardo Rodriguez have all already impressed so far and will look to continue to do so tonight.
It will be a test of England’s attitude tonight as well as ability. How will they cope? It’s difficult to say, but in a favourable looking group E, a draw in Basel, with Switzerland still to play at Wembley, would not be a bad result.