PREVIEW | Italy v Switzerland Euro 2024

The knockout phase at Euro 2024 begins this evening, as Italy take on Switzerland in the Round of 16 at the Olympiastadion Berlin.

Mattia Zaccagni’s dramatic last gasp equaliser in their final group game against Croatia, booked the Azzurri’s place in the knockout phase and now they face a Swiss side, brimming with confidence after an impressive showing in the group stages.

Luciano Spalletti’s men have yet to set this tournament alight. As well as the nail-biting draw against Croatia, Italy enjoyed a narrow win over Albania, but despite only a 1-0 scoreline, they suffered a comprehensive defeat at the hands of Spain. 

Switzerland remain undefeated so far. An solid win over Hungary on matchday one was followed by a 1-1 draw against Scotland in their next fixture. Murat Yakin’s side were unlucky not to beat hosts Germany in their final group game, as they qualified as runners-up in Group A. 

The Swiss, who are unbeaten in their last five games across all competitions, have not beaten Italy since 1993, but five of their last six meetings have ended in a draw.

Their most famous recent encounter was a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome in November 2021. A match that midfielder Jorginho, who missed a penalty in the two countries first meeting, missed another last gasp penalty to ensure the Swiss would qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar at the Azzurri’s expense.

Results from their last five matches across all competitions

Italy D W W L D

Switzerland W D W D D

Team news:

Luciano Spalletti could make up to six changes from their 1-1 draw against Croatia. Riccardo Calafiori is suspended, so Roma’s Gianluca Mancini will replace him at centre-half. Federico Dimarco has failed a fitness test and will be replaced at left-back by his Inter team-mate, Matteo Darmian.

Midfield is where the biggest shake-up is expected to occur. Bryan Cristante, Stephan El Shaarawy and Nicolo Fagioli are expected to come in with Lorenzo Pellegrini, Jorginho and Giacomo Raspadori dropping to the bench.

Up front, Atalanta striker Gianluca Scamacca may return to the squad in place of Mateo Retegui.

The Swiss are likely to have five players in their starting XI that ply their trade in Serie A. Inter’s Jan Sommer will be in goal, Torino’s Ricardo Rodriguez at left-back.

Bologna pair Michel Aebischer and Remo Freuler are expected to play in a four-man midfield with their club team-mate Dan Ndoye playing on the left of a three pronged attack.

Mainz defender Silvan Widmer is suspended and his place is expected to be filled by Leonidas Stergiou.

Predicted starting line-ups:

Italy (4-1-4-1) Donnarumma; Darmian, Bastoni, Mancini, Di Lorenzo; Fagioli; El Shaarawy, Barella, Cristante, Chiesa; Scamacca

Switzerland (3-4-2-1) Sommer; Rodriguez, Akanji, Schar; Aebischer, Freuler, Xhaka, Sterigou; Ndoya, Vargas; Embolo


Steve Mitchell | GIFN





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