Switzerland vs Italy Preview 05/09/2021
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The top two sides in Group C go head-to-head on Sunday, with first-place Italy travelling to St. Jakob-Park to face Switzerland.
Italy currently sit atop Group C with ten points to their name, while second-place Switzerland find themselves four points behind.
— Nazionale Italiana ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@Azzurri) September 2, 2021
Switzerland head into Sunday’s clash on the back of a 2-1 friendly victory over Greece, which came at St. Jakob-Park on Wednesday.
Goals from Steven Zuber and Ruben Vargas got the job done for the Swiss, who managed to resist a barrage of 13 shots from the Greeks.
Switzerland have only played two World Cup qualifiers so far, although they boast a 100% record as things stand.
After beating Bulgaria 3-1 on Matchday 1, they picked up a 1-0 victory over Lithuania, before going all the way to the Euro 2020 quarter-finals.
Switzerland have only lost one of their previous 13 matches across all competitions inside 90 minutes, picking up nine wins along the way.
They have also been involved a number of high-scoring games recently, with each of their last five outings producing over 2.5 goals.
Meanwhile, Italy were held to a 1-1 draw by Bulgaria on Thursday, despite seeing 79% of the ball and recording 27 shots.
Federico Chiesa’s first-half strike proved to be the Azzurri’s only goal on the night, but Atanas Iliev equalised just before half-time.
The draw extended Italy’s unbeaten streak to 35 games in all competitions, although Roberto Mancini’s side will be disappointed to have dropped two points.
The newly-crowned European champions will surely be eager to bounce back on Sunday after a poor result in midweek.
Head-to-head: Switzerland and Italy have faced each other 58 times over the years, although the Swiss have only picked up seven wins in this fixture.
Switzerland’s last victory over Italy came all the way back in 1993. Since then, they have registered five losses and four draws against the Italians.
Team news: Switzerland will be without captain Granit Xhaka after the Arsenal midfielder tested positive for COVID-19.
As for Italy, Giorgio Chiellini could come back into the starting XI after sitting on the substitute bench against Bulgaria.
Of course, Italy will be desperate to make amends for Thursday’s questionable result. But if Switzerland bring their A-game, they could frustrate the Euro 2020 winners.
Forbet predicts that Switzerland will hold Italy to a goalless draw on Sunday, maintaining their unbeaten WQC record.