While the Spaniards were initially chastised for their misfiring attackers, the “Furia Roja” has now progressed to become the most productive offensive unit in the European Football Championship. Spain has scored eleven goals thus far, 10 of which have come in the last two games.
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Nonetheless, the Spaniards have discovered a path to offensive answers. Even before that, their ability to allow the ball to circulate inside their own ranks had scarcely elicited criticism unless one is primarily an opponent of this style of play. The high proportion of ball possession by the Spaniards also implies that their opponents have limited chances. At first glance, the Croatian outcome appears to be misleading, especially considering goalkeeper Unai Simon scored one of the goals. Spain had only conceded one goal in the group round.
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Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer, on the other hand, had to reach behind him eight times, not counting penalties. There hasn’t been a quarter-finalist who has conceded more goals. The Spaniards, on the other hand, are expecting a “tough game,” according to defender Cesar Azpilicueta. In the Nations League, there were two recent duels with the Swiss. Ferran Torres recalled, “Those were really difficult games.” “They put you under a lot of stress and make things difficult for you.” In October 2020, the Spaniards won 1-0 at home in Madrid. In a 1-1 draw in Basel a month later, Gerard Moreno’s 89th-minute goal saved the Spaniards from defeat.
Switzerland did not have a star-studded roster this time, but they had demonstrated that as a collective, they can beat any team, according to Ferran Torres. After a 3: 3 penalty after 120 minutes, Switzerland overcame world champions France in a stirring contest in the round of 16. Gladbach goalie Sommer saved the game-winning goal from Kylian Mbappe. This triumph “showed us all that we can achieve if we remain together,” said Remo Freuler, a midfielder.
Coach Petkovic is suffering from a headache.
The promotion of coach Vladimir Petkovic elicited jubilant applause across the country, but it also brought issues. Due to a yellow card ban, the 57-year-old must replace his captain Granit Xhaka in the quarter-finals. The Arsenal professional is a key character in the Swiss game, having recently been absent from a competitive match in nearly five years when Switzerland faced Hungary in World Cup qualifying for 2018. Xhaka never missed a minute of the Petkovic era’s finals. “Granite is our heart on the square,” Sommer said.
Petkovic has a number of options at his disposal. The first contenders are Denis Zakaria (Borussia Mönchengladbach) and Djibril Sow (Eintracht Frankfurt). In terms of position, Edimilson Fernandes (Mainz 05) is another alternative, though Petkovic has never backed him, especially in midfield.