Euro 2024

Switzerland v Germany: Hosts to complete clean sweep

Germany captain Ilkay Gundogan
Barcelona's Ilkay Gundogan found the net for Germany against Hungary

The Euro 2024 hosts Germany have won their first two games, and Kevin Hatchard expects that run to continue against Switzerland in Frankfurt...

Switzerland v Germany
Sunday 23 June, 20:00
Live on BBC Two

Swiss close to yet another knockout phase

Our friends at Opta tell us that Switzerland and France are the only European teams to have qualified for the knockout phase of the last five major tournaments, and the Swiss are on the cusp of another appearance at the big dance. The only scenario that would see them drop to third in the group is if they lose to Germany, Scotland beat Hungary and there's a big goal-difference swing. Even then, the four points they have will probably be good enough for progress.

However, there are issues for Nati coach Murat Yakin to address. Although his team was outstanding in the first half of their 3-1 win over Hungary, they faded badly in the second period, and only sealed the victory late on with a well taken goal from Breel Embolo. Then against Scotland they conceded a messy early goal, were gifted a leveller (although Xherdan Shaqiri's finish was breathtaking), and were rescued by the woodwork in the second half.

Unless Yakin can find some complete performances, it could be yet another tournament that sees the Swiss reach the knockout rounds, only to fall at the first hurdle.

There is at least huge experience in the group - 35-year-old keeper Yann Sommer kept 25 competitive clean sheets for Italian champions Inter this term, defender Ricardo Rodriguez has well over 100 caps, Manuel Akanji was a treble winner with Manchester City, Granit Xhaka just steered Bayer Leverkusen to an unbeaten domestic double in Germany, while Shaqiri has five goals in ten Euros matches for his country, as well as five goals in World Cup finals.

Hosts have maximum points, but work to do

Germany have undoubtedly been one of Euro 2024's most impressive teams so far. They pulverised Scotland 5-1 on opening night, sparking optimism across the country and building belief in a squad that features a number of players that have failed at the last two World Cups. They then beat Hungary 2-0, as Jamal Musiala grabbed his second goal of the tournament, and skipper Ilkay Gundogan finished off a lovely team move.

However, not everything is perfect. Veteran keeper Manuel Neuer had to make an important save in the opening seconds of the contest with the Hungarians, and he was required to make several stops after that. In addition, Hungary's burly centre-forward Barnabas Varga should have equalised at 1-0 down, but placed a free far-post header agonisingly off target.

So it's a mixed picture so far. Musiala is in fine form, Toni Kroos is organising things beautifully in midfield, and Kai Havertz has brought his Arsenal form to the tournament. Left-back Maximilian Mittelstädt is quickly and smoothly making the transition to the top level, Gundogan's movement in midfield has been sharp and clever and Florian Wirtz still looks full of ideas and energy despite a punishing season with Bayer Leverkusen.

Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann has plenty of depth in his squad, and it remains to be seen how deep he'll dig into the toolbox here. He's suggested he won't make wholesale changes, and he knows defeat will see Germany fail to win the group, but we could see a change or two. Niclas Füllkrug is pushing hard to start at centre-forward, and one of the midfield berths could go to either Pascal Gross or Emre Can.

Interestingly, though he would never say it, Musiala might be tempted to miss the game because of the suspect pitch in Frankfurt. The surface has had big problems for months, and after a friendly there, Musiala was hugely critical, suggesting he was thankful not to have been injured.

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Germany to win in lively affair

Switzerland are set to progress, but I haven't been blown away by them, and I think a Germany with momentum can edge them out. We can back Germany to win, Over 1.5 Goals and Over 6.5 Corners at 2.3811/8 on the Bet Builder, and I think that's a fair bet.

18 of Germany's last 20 internationals have featured two goals or more, while Germany alone have racked up 16 corners in two games at Euro 2024. They might cover the Over 6.5 Corners line on their own.

If Niclas Füllkrug starts, back him to score at 3.02/1 on the Exchange. The all-action Dortmund centre-forward has scored 12 goals in just 18 caps, and he helped BVB reach the Champions League final this season.

Now read the rest of our Euro 2024 content here!

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