England aim to beat Switzerland and qualify for the semi-finals of Euro 2024

England’s match against Switzerland at the Dusseldorf Arena on Saturday is an unusual encounter between two teams looking to reach the semi-finals of the tournament. European nations (Euro 2024), as it will put two projects against each other, in search of a place in the future. On the one hand, the “golden generation” of the Swiss national team may be on its way out; on the other hand, Gareth Southgate may bid farewell to the leadership of the technical staff of the English national team after nearly eight years.

England are favourites on paper and Southgate should be breathing a sigh of relief as they look to secure a ticket to the next round, but Switzerland are tough opponents and have looked more solid, balanced and attractive throughout the tournament against a lacklustre England side.

Switzerland’s golden generation faces tough test

Players such as Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri, Ricardo Rodriguez, Yann Sommer, Fabian Schar and Remo Freuler will be looking to leave behind a fond memory of what is likely to be their last appearance at the Euros, as their national team has never progressed beyond the quarter-finals of a major tournament, having been eliminated on the brink of the semi-finals at the World Cups of Italy 1934, France 1938 and Switzerland 1958.

They also stumbled in the quarter-finals of the last European Championship and now, with players in their 30s, they will be fighting to achieve a major achievement to crown the career of a generation that began its journey at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and has not missed a major tournament since.

England star Jude Bellingham suspended and fined

Currently, under the leadership of coach Murat Yakin, the national team has succeeded in Switzerland Having overcome the disappointment of last year’s World Cup in Qatar, where they failed to get past the group stage, the coach, although questioned in the qualifiers, is now being praised after leading his players to the quarter-finals after a strong group stage (a 3-1 win over Hungary and 1-1 draws with Scotland and Germany) and a perfect round of 16, in which he exposed Italy’s poor form (2-0).

All the players available for Yakin include Steven Zuber, the top assist maker at the previous European Championship with four assists and who has recovered from a muscle strain he suffered before the tournament. He benefited from some time against Italy, but his place on the right wing will be held by Michel Aebischer who will remain in the squad after a surprisingly impressive performance that earned him his place.

The Switzerland coach will, barring any surprises, stick to his successful plan, relying on the starting line-up that has taken him far so far at the European Championship. Savo Shaqiri will likely remain on the bench, while the rest of the “golden generation” will remain in the starting line-up.

England required to respond to criticism

On the other hand, they will face a team that was considered a worthy candidate to win the title before the start of the European Championship and is now a question mark.

England were one of the big teams that disappointed after their first four matches, amid attempts by Southgate to recover, as he bet in the first two matches of the team in (Euro 2024), on Trent Alexander-Arnold, the left-back, to play in the middle of the field. He failed in the mission, and was replaced by “Conor Gallagher”, who also did not succeed. He relied on Kobe Mainoo, in the round of 16, but he did not succeed either.

Jude Bellingham brings Real Madrid DNA to England squad

In addition, he has called up an injured player like Luke Shaw to Germany in the hope of having him back relatively soon. He has not called up any other left-back to replace Kieran Trippier on the wing while he recovers from a muscle injury. He will also not be available for the Switzerland game, and could therefore make a change to his line-up on Saturday.

Southgate could consider playing with three centre-backs, moving Kyle Walker from right-back to centre-back and replacing him with Alexander-Arnold. Alongside Walker, at centre-back, John Stones and Ezri Konsa would replace the suspended Marc Guehi. That is a possibility for Southgate, who could also stick with a 4-2-3-1 formation, with uncapped players such as Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden having the chance to make a big impact.

Jude Bellingham will not be missing from either idea, having looked a hero against Serbia early in the tournament with the goal of giving the team a English He won 1-0, and was criticised after the next two matches against Denmark (1-1) and Slovenia (0-0). He was then declared a national hero again by scoring a saving scissor kick in the round of 16 against Slovakia.

His goal, perhaps the best of the tournament, came in the last second of stoppage time, giving England a 2-1 extra-time win. He was credited with giving Southgate’s side a lifeline and against Switzerland he will be looking to extend his manager’s stay in charge for another round with another key objective of winning the European Championship.

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