Right, we’ve got the usual tabloid nonsense out the way for this weekÂ (presumably Wayne will be takingÂ some chocolate backÂ to Coleen in Manchester to make amends for his ‘indiscretion’ although it’s probably just as well that duty free cigarettesÂ have been abolished) so on with the football.
Group G is already looking good (we won and Wales shot themselves in the foot yet again) and although the reporter on the BBC lunchtime news thinks this is our toughest group game, I’m going to be a bit controversial and suggest otherwise – Switzerland haven’t been doing particularly well at home and their World Cup win over eventual champions Spain was a fluke (check the statsÂ at the bottom of the page)Â rather than an exhibition of how good they are at football. In fact, they featured in arguably the worst game of the entire tournament: the 0-0 draw with Honduras was far worse than our game against Algeria.
In fact, Switzerland haven’t won at home since last September when they beat Greece 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier. In the six games since then they’ve lost three and although one of those defeats was a 1-3 loss to Uruguay in March, they’ve not exactly been up against the best teams in Europe.
Making matters worse for them is the fact that we’ve won six our seven games in Switzerland since World War II and our only defeat was almost 30 years ago in a World Cup qualifier; the strange thing is, on paper the SwissÂ team ought to be much better.Â Eleven of the currentÂ squad play in the domestic Super League, although it may be significant that none of them play for current leaders Luzern. The rest play in Germany, Italy and France – which isn’t a bad mixture, but they don’t have a particularly good tournament record and they may have to go through the playoffs if we pick up three points tomorrow, which is what I’m expecting.