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EURO 2024: High stakes in Cologne As Scotland Take On Switzerland

Scotland vs Switzerland

Written by Olaleye Oluwadamilola

The battle for second place in Group A intensifies on Wednesday afternoon as Scotland face Switzerland in Cologne. This is arguably the most crucial match of the group so far.

Victory for Switzerland would secure their place in the knockout stages, leaving Scotland needing a win against Hungary to join them. Conversely, a win for Scotland puts them firmly in control of their destiny, with a more favorable matchup against Hungary in their final group game.

With both teams desperate for points, this promises to be a thrilling encounter.

Scotland

Scotland’s Euro campaign got off to a rocky start. A harsh 5-1 defeat to Germany on the opening night was compounded by a red card for defender Ryan Porteous. However, there’s still a chance to turn things around.

Their next challenge is a bit of an unknown. Scotland haven’t faced Switzerland in a competitive match in nearly two decades, with the Swiss winning a friendly encounter in Glasgow back in 2006 3-1. This Wednesday’s match in Cologne will be a crucial test for Scotland’s qualification hopes. Can they bounce back from the opening defeat and claim a vital win, or will history repeat itself?

Switzerland

Switzerland emerged victorious in their Euro opener, capitalizing on several Hungarian mistakes to secure a 3-1 win. Despite a somewhat rocky qualification campaign where they finished second to Romania, the Swiss possess a wealth of international experience that could propel them towards the knockout stages.


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Head to Head

Wednesday’s encounter in Cologne marks a rare meeting between Scotland and Switzerland. Their most recent clash was a friendly match in Glasgow back in 2006, which Switzerland won 3-1.

However, history throws up an interesting caveat. Their only other meeting at a major tournament, the Euro 1996 group stage, saw Scotland emerge victorious 1-0. Unfortunately, both teams ended up being eliminated from the competition despite that result.

This lack of recent competitive encounters adds an element of intrigue to Wednesday’s match. Will Switzerland repeat their friendly win, or can Scotland pull off another upset on a big stage?

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Key Performers

Calls are growing for Scotland to bring striker Lawrence Shankland back into the starting lineup for their crucial match against Switzerland. Shankland was in red-hot form before the tournament, contributing directly to five goals (four goals and one assist) in just five games for club and country.

Meanwhile, Switzerland will be looking to build on their opening day success. Midfielder Michel Aebischer enjoyed a blistering start, scoring a goal and assisting another in their victory. Alongside him, the experienced Granit Xhaka provided a strong presence in midfield, marshalling the Swiss team. If Scotland want to get back on track, they’ll need to find a way to break through Xhaka’s steely resolve.

Conclusion

A dominant opening victory has Switzerland well on their way to qualifying for the knockout stages for the sixth tournament in a row. The mood in the Swiss camp is understandably positive, but captain Granit Xhaka remains grounded. He emphasizes that despite the strong start, the pressure to keep performing remains high. This balance between confidence and focus reflects Xhaka’s strong leadership and could be key to Switzerland’s continued success.

Victory or a draw against Switzerland keeps Scotland’s qualification hopes very much alive heading into their final group game. However, a defeat would leave them needing a miracle against Hungary to progress, putting their Euro dreams in serious jeopardy.

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