Wales vs Switzerland: Must-win game in battle for Last 16

Five years ago, Wales made history by reaching the Euro 2016 semi-final. Emulating that seems an impossibility but Rob Page’s side will give it a go, starting this weekend against Switzerland.

When: Saturday, June 12, 14:00 BST

How to watch: BBC One

Follow this game live via our score centre

Best Bets

Switzerland to win at 6/5 

Both teams to score at 13/10

Xherdan Shaqiri to score anytime at 3/1

Preparation for this tournament has been far from ideal for the Welsh.

The British outfit will be the only nation in the competition without their manager, Ryan Giggs. The former Manchester United legend is set to face trial next year meaning that assistant coach, Rob Page, will be the main man in the dugout.

Things haven't exactly gone to plan in pre-tournament friendlies either. A 3-0 defeat to France was followed by a goalless draw with Albania - a side ranked 66th best in the world.

Switzerland, on the other hand, are coming into Saturday's game with wind in their sails. Vladimir Petkovic has watched his side win six successive games before the start of Euro 2020. This included a 7-0 thrashing of Liechtenstein in their most recent outing.

Switzerland will compete in their second successive European Championships
Switzerland will compete in their second successive European Championships

With Italy and Turkey also in this group, both these nations will be looking at this as a must-win game if they are to stand any chance of progressing.

Last Three Matches

Wales 2-0 Switzerland (Euro 2012 Qualifier - October 7, 2011)

In their penultimate game of the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, Wales picked up a comfortable 2-0 win over the Switzerland.

The game was relatively even until the 55th minute when Swiss player, Reto Ziegler, was awarded a straight red card. From that point on, the game belonged to the hosts.

Goals from Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale helped the side to winning all three points in Swansea.

Switzerland 4-1 Wales (Euro 2012 Qualifier - October 12, 2010)

When the two nations met earlier in the qualifying campaign, it was Switzerland who ran riot in Basel.

Valentin Stocker opened the scoring in the eighth minute, but their advantage didn't last long as Gareth Bale hit back just moments later.

Marco Streller made it 2-1 on the 20th minute mark as Switzerland went back in-front. It turned out to be a lead which they wouldn't relinquish.

In the closing stages of the contest, the Swiss created further headway with Gokhan Inler converting a penalty and Stocker scoring his second of the game.

Wales 0-2 Switzerland (Euro 2000 Qualification - October 8, 1999)

Back during the Euro 2000 qualifiers, it was Switzerland who completed a double over the Welsh.

In the second game, it was Alexandre Rey who opened the scoring in the 16th minute.

Patrick Buhlmann added a second in the 60th minute as the Swiss bagged all three points at the Racecourse Ground.

Last four head-to-heads

Wales wins: 1

Draws: 0

Switzerland: 3

Wales goals: 3

Switzerland goals: 8

Wales relying on star power

Gareth Bale, Daniel James and Aaron Ramsey. If Wales are to succeed, these three players will have to be at the peak of their powers.

Rob Page does have other talented players in his side however, it is unquestionable that the foundation of any Wales attack will come through those three players.

Wales' Gareth Bale during training in Baku ahead of their opening match with Switzerland
Wales' Gareth Bale during training in Baku ahead of their opening match with Switzerland

Looking at the further squad, Page's options are limited. The manager has two other strikers to his disposal in Tyler Roberts and Kieffer Moore - two men who have only managed five international goals between them.

Options are also scarce in midfield as six players in that position have arrived from Championship clubs.

Experienced Switzerland

The Swiss might not have a squad full of world beaters but they certainly make up for it with experience.

The likes of Yann Sommer, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and Haris Seferovic are all key names for this team and they're all approaching the age of 30.

Switzerland star, Xherdan Shaqiri
Switzerland star, Xherdan Shaqiri

What's more, a lot of players in this squad have tournament experience. Switzerland have played in the last four World Cups the last Euros and even made it to the semi-finals of the 2018/19 Nations League.

Goalscorer bets

Seferovic is without a doubt the key goalscoring threat for Switzerland in this game. However, there is another alternative which does come at a bigger price.

That alternative is Shaquiri. The Liverpool man has scored or assisted in almost half of Switzerland's major tournament goals since 2014. At 3/1, he is certainly worth a go in the anytime goalscorer market.

With regards to Wales, unsurprisingly it's Gareth Bale who leads the way at 21/10. The Real Madrid man has scored two goals in his two games against the Swiss and could very well comeback to haunt them.

READ MORE: Three classic opening games of World Cups and European Championships