Countdown to Euro 2020: Daily briefing
The fixture follows Italy’s win over Turkey in Rome last night – another Group A meeting – with Wales hoping they can start strong and go on to match their semi-final run from Euro 2016, though they know they face a tough task in doing so. Switzerland, meanwhile, made it to the last 16 in Paris five years ago, before falling to Poland in a penalty shootout.
This is a crucial game for both sides, who will know that one win may be enough to secure safe passage through to the first knockout round as one of the competition’s four best third-placed finishers.
Wales are relying on captain and Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale throughout the tournament, who spent last season on loan at his old club Tottenham, as well as Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey. Interim coach Robert Page, standing in for Ryan Giggs, can also call upon the likes of Manchester United winger Dan James and Spurs full-back Ben Davies.
Switzerland, meanwhile, need Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka and Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri to be firing on all cylinders here and in the Swiss’ remaining group fixtures.
Follow live updates from Wales vs Switzerland from Baku at Euro 2020:
Italy set the pace for Wales and Switzerland to match in Group A
If you missed anything from the opening night’s action, well, there was plenty to take in: fireworks, a classic rendition of Nessun dorma, a tiny remote-controlled car and Roberto Mancini looking extremely suave – all before kick-off.
Italy then proceeded to grind down and eventually hammer Turkey in deserved fashion, 3-0 the final score with all three goals coming in the second half.
An own goal and further strikes from Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne got the Azzurri off to a good start – Miguel Delaney has the recap and report from the first 90 minutes at Euro 2020.
Karl Matchett12 June 2021 11:57
Can Wales replicate their 2016 heroics?
It was a party for the ages in Wales back at Euro 2016, when Chris Coleman’s side beat Belgium to reach the semi-finals in entirely unexpected fashion.
This time around the task is to match what came before, however difficult that might prove – and one of their heroes from five years ago, Sam Vokes, spoke to Richard Edwards to explore the feelings around the Welsh squad as they look to re-make history.
“Just to get to the tournament was a huge achievement at the time,” says Vokes.
“It was such a big thing for the country. Only a few years before that I had been playing at the Millennium Stadium and there were only 8000 people in there for some games supporting us.
“It’s important to get a good start. We started well in 2016, getting the winner against Slovakia in the last 10 minutes and that really set the whole thing off.
“I think we’re going to need something similar against Switzerland to get us up and running. Can Wales get out of the group? Definitely. then who knows? Once you get into the last 16 then its effectively a play-off every match.”
Karl Matchett12 June 2021 11:53
Gareth Bale positive over form and fitness for Wales
There’s no question that the Real Madrid man – on loan at Spurs last season – needs to be at his best level if Wales are to be successful this summer, whether that means progressing to the knock-outs or going as far as they did five years ago, to the last four.
The positive news is that Bale himself feels he’s in great shape to do exactly that, having ended the season in good form under interim boss Ryan Mason.
“I feel good, fit and sharp and ready to go,” he said ahead of today’s clash.
“I scored quite a few goals in the last three or four months of the season and my performances were getting better and better each game.
“I’ve timed my fitness hopefully to perfection and hopefully I continue that in this tournament.
“It would be nice to score every game but it doesn’t matter who scores or creates the goals. The objective for the whole team – the whole nation – is that we win games.
“As long as we can get wins, or not losses, and get out of this group we will be very happy.”
Karl Matchett12 June 2021 11:40
Wales face Switzerland in Group A at Euro 2020
A summer of anticipation and excitement for Wales and Switzerland starts here, as the two nations begin their Euro 2020 campaign with a Group A clash in Baku. Rob Page will be hoping to inspire his squad – and the country – with a strong opening performance, giving the Dragons an ongoing chance of reaching the knock-out phase.
Picking up a positive result here would be a huge boost to Wales’ chances, but they face a very strong Switzerland squad packed with talent from the Premier League and Bundesliga in particular.
Left-footed stars of each national team’s attack will be firmly under the spotlight here: Gareth Bale for Wales and Xherdan Shaqiri for Switzerland. Both play a central role in chance creation and goalscoring for their respective countries and if either one shines here, the chances of picking up three points will be significantly increased.
Karl Matchett12 June 2021 11:22