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Switzerland's striking conundrum: Seferović or Embolo?

Switzerland's strikers are yet to find their range at UEFA EURO 2016 and going into Saturday's last-16 meeting with Poland, Vladimir Petković has a tough call to make.

Seferović or Embolo?
Seferović or Embolo? ©UEFA.com

Speaking after Switzerland's goalless draw with tournament hosts France last Sunday, coach Vladimir Petković told the assembled press: "We can achieve something special, but to do so we need to be more clinical in the final third."

Having seen his side score just twice in Group A, Petković has grounds for concern. Switzerland have had to rely on strikes from centre-back Fabian Schär and wide man Admir Mehmedi to steer them through the group stage; central attacker Haris Seferović has struggled in front of goal.

Breel Embolo replaced Seferović in the starting line-up against the French and delivered a mature performance, but the 19-year-old's inability to seriously test goalkeeper Hugo Lloris at the Stade Pierre Mauroy leaves Petković with a selection headache going into Saturday's last-16 clash with Poland. Does he stick or twist? Embolo or Seferović?

In Switzerland's earlier group games against Albania and Romania, Seferović did everything but find the net. Time and again he showed exceptional awareness and skill to create opportunities, yet repeatedly he was denied by a combination of wayward finishing and excellent goalkeeping.

Seferović's record of seven goals in 33 internationals is hardly prolific, though the 24-year-old Frankfurt forward has delivered the goods at this level before. He got the winner in a 2-1 victory over Ecuador at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He is also the last Switzerland player to register more than once in a single match – the 2-1 victory over Austria last November.

The only strike of Embolo's fledgling Nati career came from the penalty spot in a 7-0 rout of San Marino in a EURO qualifier last autumn. While the teenager undoubtedly has a very bright future, he has not quite made the breakthrough just yet.

Haris Seferović reacts to a missed chance
Haris Seferović reacts to a missed chance©Getty Images

Handed his full major tournament debut against France, Embolo caused Laurent Koscielny and Adil Rami all manner of problems with his pace and physicality before making way for Seferović late on. Like the rest of his team-mates, though, Embolo failed to put a shot on target in Lille.

Strong, quick and with an eye for a pass, Embolo has the tools in his armoury to become a complete centre-forward, but the Basel prodigy is more likely to drop deep in search of the ball than Seferović, who prefers to play on the shoulder of the last defender.

Petković has a difficult decision to make ahead of Saturday's clash in Saint-Etienne.