Wales meet Group A rivals, Switzerland in their opening Group A clash of Euro 2020 at Baku’s Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan.
Depending on Turkey’s result against Italy in the opening match, victory for either Wales or Switzerland could see them go top of Group A.
Wales have no fresh injury concerns to report after finding themselves held to a goalless home draw against Albania in their friendly last Saturday.
Rob Page is therefore expected to stick with his familiar lineup containing Chris Mepham, Aaron Ramsey and others in their 4-2-3-1 formation after a 3-4-3 formation experiment against Albania backfired.
Switzerland also boast no injury concerns after thrashing Liechtenstein 7-0 in their pre-tournament friendly last week.
- This is the first meeting between Wales and Switzerland in the Finals of a major tournament.
- Wales have won just one of four previous competitive meetings against Switzerland, which all came in qualifying for Euro 2000 and Euro 2012 respectively (W1, L3).
- Switzerland have won just one of three previous meetings against Wales as the away team (W1, L2).
- Wales have scored first in each of their last four competitive fixtures and gone on to win three of those four matches (W3, L1).
- Switzerland have scored 24 goals in 11 of their last 13 matches in all competitions, excluding a default 3-0 win over Ukraine which wasn’t actually contested on the pitch.
Following two difficult friendlies in which they failed with formation experimentation and to score as well, Wales definitely need to start on the front foot given their poor competitive record against Switzerland because if they don’t then I seriously do worry for them in this game.
Switzerland meanwhile are a tricky team to predict because since international football resumed in the Coronavirus pandemic, they have only managed two clean sheets in 12 games that were actually played yet are unbeaten in 2021.
My gut instinct therefore is feeling a Swiss win but if Wales can score first and defend well, I can see them snatching a potentially crucial draw here.
Prediction: Wales 1-1 Switzerland