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EURO 2020 inside track: Switzerland

UEFA.com's Switzerland reporter Peter Birrer hopes they can continue their upward trajectory under Vladimir Petković and reach the last eight at least.

Meet the teams: Switzerland
Meet the teams: Switzerland

Group A fixtures

12/06: Wales vs Switzerland (Baku)
16/06: Italy vs Switzerland (Rome)
20/06: Switzerland vs Turkey (Baku)

Team profile

Every goal on Switzerland's road to EURO 2020
Every goal on Switzerland's road to EURO 2020

Coach: Vladimir Petković
Captain: Granit Xhaka
Nickname: Die Nati (National Team)
How they qualified: Group D winners (W5 D2 L1 F19 A6)
EURO best: Round of 16 (2016)

Where they could play their knockout games

Round of 16: London, Amsterdam, Bucharest, Seville or Glasgow
Quarter-final: Saint Petersburg, Munich, Rome or Baku
Semi-final: London
Final: London

Final 26-man squad

Goalkeepers: Yvon Mvogo (PSV), Yann Sommer (Mönchengladbach), Gregor Kobel (Stuttgart)

Defenders: Manuel Akanji (Dortmund), Loris Benito (Bordeaux), Eray Cömert (Basel), Nico Elvedi (Mönchengladbach), Jordan Lotomba (Nice), Kevin Mbabu (Wolfsburg), Becir Omeragic (Zürich), Ricardo Rodríguez (Torino), Fabian Schär (Newcastle), Silvan Widmer (Basel)

EURO 2016 highlights: Switzerland 1-1 Poland (4-5 pens)
EURO 2016 highlights: Switzerland 1-1 Poland (4-5 pens)

Midfielders: Christian Fassnacht (Young Boys), Edimilson Fernandes (Mainz), Remo Freuler (Atalanta), Xherdan Shaqiri (Liverpool), Djibril Sow (Frankfurt), Ruben Vargas (Augsburg), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Denis Zakaria (Mönchengladbach), Steven Zuber (Frankfurt)

Forwards: Breel Embolo (Mönchengladbach), Mario Gavranović (Dinamo Zagreb), Admir Mehmedi (Wolfsburg), Haris Seferović (Benfica)

How they play

Switzerland play neat, attacking football under Vladimir Petković. The coach relies on a three-man defence plus a midfield four, with Granit Xhaka in charge and Xherdan Shaqiri providing the creativity just behind the attack. One player who could come off the bench and be a breath of fresh air is 22-year-old Ruben Vargas.

Key player: Granit Xhaka

Not only the captain since Stephan Lichtsteiner's retirement, Xhaka is also the most-capped player in the squad with 94 appearances. The Arsenal midfielder is the dominant figure in the Swiss game, being the pacesetter and, for many, the brain of the team.

See how Switzerland made a winning start to EURO 2016
See how Switzerland made a winning start to EURO 2016

Coach: Vladimir Petković

Petković took over from Ottmar Hitzfeld in 2014 and has overseen 73 matches so far. The 57-year-old has led Switzerland to UEFA EURO 2016, the 2018 FIFA World Cup and now EURO 2020. Having met high expectations, his mission now is to make a breakthrough with this side by reaching a quarter-finals for the first time.

One to watch: Breel Embolo

Forward Embolo got a fresh start at Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2019 after overcoming a spate of injuries. Powerful, versatile and blessed with great pace, the 24-year-old is a real handful.

Can they win it?

Xhaka says he has packed enough clothes for the duration of the tournament – so he believes Switzerland can go very far. Of course, they are not one of the favourites, but the team undoubtedly possesses the quality and talent to reach the latter rounds. The first thing on their minds, however, must be to get through the group stage.

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