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Wales vs Switzerland: UEFA EURO 2020 match background, facts and stats

Having both reached the knockout stages in 2016, Wales and Switzerland are looking to kick off another memorable campaign in Baku.

Gareth Bale  scores for Wales against Switzerland in EURO 2012 qualifying
Gareth Bale scores for Wales against Switzerland in EURO 2012 qualifying Getty Images

Wales and Switzerland meet in Baku in the opening round of Group A games both seeking to emulate their UEFA European Championship exploits of four years ago.

• Both teams made the knockout stages at UEFA EURO 2016, the Swiss bowing out in the round of 16 while Wales's remarkable run took them all the way to the semi-finals before they succumbed to eventual champions Portugal.

• Wales will need to improve on their overall record against Switzerland to make a positive start to UEFA EURO 2020 at the Baku Olympic Stadium – although they were victorious in the sides' last fixture.

Previous meetings

• Switzerland have won five of the sides' seven matches, each team recording a home win when they were last paired together, in qualifying for UEFA EURO 2012.

• Valentin Stocker scored twice as Ottmar Hitzfeld's Switzerland's team won 4-1 in Basel against a Wales side whose equalising goal had come from Gareth Bale. Bale was also on target as a Wales team coached by Gary Speed in his final competitive home match in charge prevailed 2-0 in the Swansea return, an Aaron Ramsey penalty having opened the scoring as Switzerland's qualification hopes were ended; Wales finished fourth in their qualifying section, one place behind the Swiss.

• That was a first Welsh victory against Switzerland since a 3-2 friendly win in Wrexham in May 1951.

• Switzerland have won the four other matches between the countries, all without conceding a goal, including 2-0 victories home and away in qualifying for UEFA EURO 2000 – although neither side reached the final tournament.

• Wales caretaker coach Robert Page played 90 minutes in that 2-0 Swiss victory at Wrexham's Racecourse Ground in October 1999.

Meet the teams: Wales
Meet the teams: Wales

EURO facts: Wales

• This is Wales's second successive UEFA European Championship, following their 2016 debut. It proved a memorable bow, as a team coached by Chris Coleman qualified first in their group ahead of England, Slovakia and Russia before beating Northern Ireland (1-0) and Belgium (3-1) to reach the country's first ever semi-final at a UEFA or FIFA tournament at any level for men or women. Portugal proved too strong in the last four, however, the eventual champions running out 2-0 winners.

• Wales's previous best EURO performance came in 1976, when they went out to Yugoslavia 3-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals. They fell 2-0 in the first leg in Zagreb before a 1-1 draw in Cardiff.

• That 2016 campaign was only Wales's second appearance in a major tournament. They reached the quarter-finals at the 1958 FIFA World Cup where they were eliminated 1-0 by eventual winners Brazil.

Every goal on Wales' road to EURO 2020
Every goal on Wales' road to EURO 2020

• In qualifying for these finals, a team managed by Ryan Giggs recovered from losing two of their first three matches to remain unbeaten in the last five (W3 D2) and finish second in Group E behind Croatia. They booked their place in the tournament with a 2-0 home win against Hungary in their last fixture.

• Goals from Kieffer Moore and Harry Wilson earned Wales a 2-0 win away to Azerbaijan in UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying on 16 November 2019. That match, which took place at the 8 KM Stadionu, was Wales's fourth visit to Baku, where their record is W3 D1; this is their first match at the Olympic Stadium.

• Page played 90 minutes in both of Wales's first two games in Baku, a 2-0 win in UEFA EURO 2004 qualifying in November 2002 and a 1-1 draw in the preliminaries for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in September 2004.

Meet the teams: Switzerland
Meet the teams: Switzerland

EURO facts: Switzerland

• This is Switzerland's fifth EURO, all in the last seven editions of the competition. Eliminated in the group stage in 1996, 2004 and as co-hosts in 2008, they finished second in their section at UEFA EURO 2016 behind hosts France but bowed out in the last 16, losing 5-4 on penalties to Poland after a 1-1 draw.

• Switzerland's record in 13 EURO finals games is W2 D5 L6.

• This is Switzerland's fourth successive appearance in a major tournament having also qualified for the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups, reaching the last 16 at both.

• The Swiss booked their place at UEFA EURO 2020 by finishing first in Group D, taking 17 points from their eight qualifiers. They won four of their last five matches, scoring 13 goals and conceding only two in that five-game sequence with three clean sheets.

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

• A 1-0 loss away to Denmark in October 2019 is Switzerland's only defeat in their last 14 EURO fixtures, qualifying and final tournament combined (W8 D5). They were unbeaten at UEFA EURO 2016 (W1 D3), with their shoot-out elimination to Poland classed as a draw.

• Switzerland finished fourth in the inaugural UEFA Nations League in 2019, losing 3-1 to hosts and eventual champions Portugal in the semi-finals and 6-5 on penalties to England in the third-place play-off after a goalless 120 minutes.

• This is only Switzerland's second game in Baku; they lost 1-0 to Azerbaijan on 31 August 1996 in their opening 1998 World Cup qualifier.

Recall Wales' stunning EURO win against Belgium
Recall Wales' stunning EURO win against Belgium

Links and trivia

• Ramsey was an Arsenal team-mate of Granit Xhaka between 2016 and 2019.

• Ricardo Rodríguez made his debut for Switzerland in the 2-0 defeat by Wales in 2011 – a match in which the home side’s Joe Allen made his first international start.

• Switzerland midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri is a Liverpool team-mate of Wales international Neco Williams.

Latest news

Wales

Highlights: Wales 0-0 Albania
Highlights: Wales 0-0 Albania

• Wales failed to score in their two pre-tournament friendlies, losing 3-0 to France in Nice and drawing 0-0 against Albania in Cardiff. Neco Williams was sent off after 26 minutes in the defeat by France, in which 19-year-old Rubin Colwill came off the bench to make his international debut.

• There are no 2020/21 domestic league winners in the Wales squad. Indeed, 15 of their UEFA EURO participants spent the season operating in the second or third tiers of English football. The only major trophy winners in the squad were Aaron Ramsey, who lifted the Coppa Italia with Juventus, and Danny Ward, who helped Leicester City capture the FA Cup – though neither played in the final.

• There are eight survivors from UEFA EURO 2016 in the Wales squad for this tournament: Joe Allen, Gareth Bale, Ben Davies, Chris Gunter, Wayne Hennessey, Aaron Ramsey, Danny Ward and Jonny Williams.

Switzerland

Highlights: Switzerland 2-1 USA
Highlights: Switzerland 2-1 USA

• Switzerland made it five wins in a row by defeating the United States 2-1 on 30 May and Liechtenstein 7-0 on 4 June, both in St Gallen.

• Mario Gavranović scored three of Switzerland's goals against Liechtenstein – the only UEFA EURO 2020 participant to register a hat-trick in any of the pre-tournament friendlies. It was his first international treble.

• Two Switzerland squad members were domestic champions in 2020/21 – Gavranović with Dinamo Zagreb and Christian Fassnacht with Young Boys – while Manuel Akanji was the only domestic cup winner, helping Borussia Dortmund claim the DFB-Pokal.

• Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka has not missed an international for over three years, since a friendly against Spain on 3 June 2018. In that time he has run up 33 successive appearances, the first 30 all in the starting XI. The last competitive international he failed to start was a FIFA World Cup qualifier in Hungary on 7 October 2016, for which he was suspended; he has been selected for all 35 since.

• Ten members of the Switzerland squad were also involved at UEFA EURO 2016: Nico Elvedi, Breel Embolo, Admir Mehmedi, Ricardo Rodríguez, Fabian Schär, Haris Seferović, Xherdan Shaqiri, Yann Sommer, Denis Zakaria and Granit Xhaka, although Elvedi and Zakaria did not actually play in France.

• Sommer's next competitive international appearance will be his 50th, while Xhaka is set to appear in his 25th EURO encounter – finals and qualifying combined – which is four shy of Stéphane Chapuisat's Switzerland record.

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