Sitting in Group A for the Euro in France later this year, Switzerland will feel that they have a strong chance against rivals in the group, France, Albania, and Romania, and they will hope that a strong warm-up against Ireland will set them up for a good tournament. Meanwhile, Ireland will have a tough task in group E against Belgium, Italy and Sweden, so anything positive out of this match will go a long way in giving Martin O’Neill’s men a lift.
It is good news historically for the Republic of Ireland against Switzerland, these two teams have met on 15 occasions previously and the Irish came out on top in seven of those, with three draws. Although history will not matter much, the Irish will need as much motivation as possible against a Swiss team that has looked fairly threatening of late.
Switzerland are currently 12th in the FIFA World Rankings, reached the last 16 at the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 and Vladimir Petkovic’s team boast a few key players, none more so than Stoke forward Xherdan Shaqiri who has been a revelation in the Premier League.
Ireland’s squad may not boast too many super star names, although veteran Robbie Keane may beg to differ. The attacking midfielder finds himself playing for LA Galaxy in the United States and he will be a rather important talisman for the Irish if they are to get another win over the Swiss.
Of course, these games are truly just friendlies and opportunities to test out combinations as well as get some cohesion in the squad. The result will not matter much, as the eyes will be on the Euro Championship prize. However, the Swiss are by far the stronger looking squad, and they do enjoy a bit of a challenge.
Switzerland will arrive at the Aviva Stadium primed to win this match, but seeing as the last time these two met was back in 2005, there could be quite a bit of feeling out before a winner is called.
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