Parc des Princes stadium in Paris could witness the first Euro 2016 knock-out qualifier from Group A when Romania take on Switzerland. This encounter will be played on Wednesday, June 15.
There is no denying the fact that Romania went into their opening game against France with low expectations. No one gave them a chance to come out with even a point but they have every reason to be dissatisfied with the result. In both the halves, Romania were quick off the blocks and were denied a lead – once through sheer brilliance of Hugo Lloris while the other through bad finishing.
France soon picked up the lead through a fine Olivier Giroud header but Romania were gifted a life-line by a needless Patrice Evra penalty. Bogdan Stancu brought Romania level on terms and it looked like they will hold firm for a draw. It required a magical goal by Dimitri Payet to earn full points for the hosts leaving Romania slightly disappointed.
But they must take heart from the fact that they kept the talented hosts at bay for most of the game. If they can replicate the performance over their next two group matches, there could even be a possibility of knock-out berth opening up.
Switzerland on the other hand come into the game with three points in their kitty following a 1-0 opening game win over Albania. Although the result was positive, the Swiss weren’t bossing the game for most of the time and had to thank the red card to Albanian captain for their supremacy. Although Granit Xhaka was superlative in his midfield supremacy, the Swiss had Yann Sommer in their goal and Fabian Schar for finding the goal, to thank for the win.
A win is a win, nevertheless, and Switzerland would be buoyed by the fact that another good display against Romania would guarantee progression for them. With the Swiss set to play France in the final group game, anything less than a point would be suicidal for their hopes.
Romania’s loss on the opening day to France was only their second loss in the last two years. With a record of ten wins, nine draws and two losses in their last 21 games, this side has proven that it can be stubborn for any opponent. They are certainly a very difficult defensive unit to break down, a fact that the French can vouch for!
The Swiss have come to France on the back of a poor run in the friendlies – losing four of their seven matches since the Euro 2016 qualifiers. The win against Albania comes as a welcome change and what better than to celebrate it with another victory!
Key players and team news
With a poor outing against France, Romanian striker Florin Andone will be under pressure to hold his place. But manager Anghel Iordanescu could give him one more chance to impress. Not so lucky should be Adrian Popa in the midfield who could make way for the experienced Gabriel Torje.
Vladimir Petkovic has a history and habit of rotating his strikers which could mean a start for Eren Derdiyok ahead of Haris Seferovic. The performance of Yann Sommer in the goal has been refreshing as is the control of Granit Xhaka from the middle of the park. The highly rated Basel wonder kid Breel Embolo is a choice too but he may have to settle for a place on the bench.
Despite their minnow status, Romania have lost just two of their last 21 games. The two goals they conceded against France was only the second time that they conceded more than a single goal in the previous 21 encounters. If they can summon that form again, Romania will be difficult to break down.
Switzerland have lost four of their last seven matches and have also conceded ten goals in the process. The win against Albania was more a gift from the first-timers than a credit to their performance. If Xhaka and Shaqiri have an off-day the Swiss team could be in big trouble.
These two sides have met once before in a major tournament – the 1994 World Cup game that ended in a 4-1 win for the Swiss. Overall, these two sides have won five matches each in 12 encounters.
Draw at odds of 3.2 with Betfred.