Ace Football previews the UEFA Nations League match between Spain and Switzerland, and offers the latest betting tips, odds, line-ups, and team news.
The UEFA Nations League resumes this weekend, starting with an eye-catching fixture between Spain and Switzerland at Real Madrid’s Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium on Saturday night in Group A4.
Spain will be under pressure to deliver on home soil and make it back-to-back wins. The memory of their 2018 World Cup fiasco still lingers on everyone’s minds, along with their equally unimpressive performance in the inaugural Nations League. Victory in Madrid, therefore, is a must for the hosts.
Although Switzerland, who reached the semi-finals of the competition last time out, are no pushovers. The visitors comfortably qualified for a place in next summer’s European championship and have proven a handful in recent fixtures.
A tight game is expected in the Spanish capital between these heavyweights, who drew 1-1 in their last encounter in 2018.
Spain Form & Stats
Thiago Alcantara, who is recovering from COVID-19, and Oscar were left out by Luis Enrique for the international break. The head coach instead handed opportunities to several new talents; including Eric Garcia, Fernan Torres, and Adama Traore.
Wednesday evening’s stalemate against Portugal, however, wasn’t exactly Spain’s finest outing. Enrique’s men struggled to insert any influence in a game that saw their 41-match goal run end. The last time they hadn’t scored came in a 2-0 defeat to Italy in a Euro 2016 showdown in France.
The three-time European champions can, though, take heart from their strong start to the 2020/21 Nations League. A 4-0 routing of Ukraine in September moved them into the top spot in Group A4.
Beating Switzerland and Ukraine again will put Spain in a commanding position to qualify for a knockout spot this time around.
Key Team Stats
- Unbeaten in their last 14 games in all competitions.
- Won 10 of their last 14 games in all competitions.
- Over 4.5 goals scored in last five home games in all competitions.
- Five clean sheets in last five home games in all competitions.
Switzerland Form & Stats
Unlike his Spain counterpart, Vladimir Petkovic has made several changes to his squad by excluding the likes of Michael Lang, Kevin Mbabu, and Michel Aebischer. Things, however, have simply not gone Switzerland’s way.
The ‘A-Team’ lost 2-1 to Croatia in a midweek friendly to extend a winless run to three games in all competitions. They also sit bottom of Group A4 with a single point to their name in two games. Therefore, the visitors cannot afford defeat to Spain on Saturday despite their unfavorable circumstances.
Not helping matters was Renato Steffen’s withdrawal from the squad through injury. Manuel Akanji is also unavailable, having tested positive for coronavirus. On the bright side, however, Xherdan Shaqiri returns after testing negative for the disease.
Key Team Stats
- Lost two of last three games (D1 L2).
- Won just one of their last five away games in all competitions (D1 L3).
- Over 2.5 goals scored in last five away games in all competitions.
Spain: Dani Carvajal (injured); Fabian Ruiz & Thiago Alcantara (both unavailable).
Switzerland: Renato Steffen (injured); Manuel Akanji (unavailable).
(Note: The image will change to the official XI once they’re both announced)