Final tournament - Group stage (Group B ) - 21/06/2004 - 20:45CET (19:45 local time) - Cidade de Coimbra - Coimbra
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Switzerland - France 1-3 - 21/06/2004 - Match page - UEFA EURO 2004

 
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All or nothing in Coimbra

Published: Monday 21 June 2004, 19.05CET
The form guide may favour France but Switzerland are determined not to pass up an opportunity to qualify as Group B concludes.
by Mark Chaplin
from Lisbon

Tournament statistics

SwitzerlandFrance

Goals scored1
 
7
Total attempts27
 
54
Attempts on target8
 
24
Attempts off target16
 
28
Attempts blocked0
 
0
Attempts against woodwork0
 
0
Corners10
 
24
Offsides7
 
9
Yellow cards10
 
7
Red Cards2
 
0
Fouls committed61
 
71
Fouls suffered46
 
72
Published: Monday 21 June 2004, 19.05CET

All or nothing in Coimbra

The form guide may favour France but Switzerland are determined not to pass up an opportunity to qualify as Group B concludes.

Reigning European champions France are not yet firing on all cylinders at UEFA EURO 2004™. Nevertheless, the form guide suggests that they will book their ticket into the quarter-finals in their final Group B encounter against Switzerland in Coimbra on Monday - but the Swiss are steeling themselves for one last effort to remain in Portugal.

Chaotic spell
The French produced a remarkable finale to defeat England in their opening game in Lisbon last Sunday. They then spluttered fitfully against Croatia on Thursday, a single-goal half-time lead dissolving into a 2-1 deficit in four chaotic early second-half minutes before a draw was salvaged.

Swagger missing
The two games so far have given France coach Jacques Santini ample food for thought as he attempts to guide his side to a second successive European crown. France's four points have been earned the hard way, and there have been few signs of the imperious swagger that makes Les Bleus an unstoppable prospect when the force is with them.

National disaster
It would be a national disaster if France were to slip up against the unfancied Swiss, without a goal after a draw against Croatia and disappointing 3-0 defeat by England. Santini's charges need only a draw to go through. Switzerland would earn a last-eight place if they beat France, and there is a winner in the other group match between Croatia and England.

Lessons learned
In the French camp, the soul searching has been long and deep. The holders viewed the Croatia game as a wake-up call. "We're at about 80 per cent physically and mentally," says Santini. "We made too many mistakes in our defensive positioning, and we also gave the ball away too much." France are determined that lessons will be learned in time for the Swiss encounter. Santini has also talked to several players on the topic of tactics.

French changes
"Playing for the draw is not what we want to do," Santini said. "We must not underestimate the Swiss." Bixente Lizarazu, Robert Pires and Claude Makelele could all return to the starting lineup while Mikaël Silvestre may drop to the bench because he already has one yellow card in the group stage.

Sweating blood
Meanwhile, Switzerland vow to sweat blood to save themselves. Last August, France were utterly dominant against them in picking up a 2-0 friendly win in Geneva, although the Swiss say that nothing can be read into that game. Playmaker Hakan Yakin has called on his team to "seize the chance". "We wanted a different scenario ahead of this game," added defender Patrick Müller. "But why shouldn't we beat France? The chance might be small but at least there is one."

Outstanding career
Stade Rennais FC striker Alexander Frei was withdrawn from the game on Monday by the Swiss Football Association following an alleged spitting incident against England, so Daniel Gygax may come in to partner Stéphane Chapuisat up front. What a tonic it would be for Switzerland if Chapuisat, in the twilight of an outstanding career, rediscovered the fire of his younger days and helped create a genuine sensation. In coach Jakob Kuhn's 4-3-1-2 formation, the suspended Bernt Haas, Fabio Celestini and Benjamin Huggel are set to be replaced by Stéphane Henchoz, Johann Vogel and Ricardo Cabanas respectively.

Logic favours France
France have been given sufficient lessons in football's unpredictability recently. While normal logic favours them to make progress to the knockout stages, they need to avoid any hint of complacency against the dogged Swiss.

Switzerland (possible): Stiel; Henchoz, Murat Yakin, Müller, Spycher; Cabanas, Vogel, Wicky; Hakan Yakin; Gygax, Chapuisat.

France (possible): Barthez; Sagnol, Thuram, Gallas, Lizarazu; Pires, Vieira, Makelele; Zidane; Trezeguet, Henry.

Referee: Luboš Michel (SVK)

Last updated: 05/06/16 14.47CET

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