A win for either Switzerland or France would likely see the victor advance into the knockout stages as the table-toppers in Group E, and they will hope to avoid Argentina in the second round as a result.
The Swiss beat Ecuador in a dramatic 2-1 result when Haris Seferovic headed in a cross from Ricardo Rodriguez in the 93rd minute. Switzerland’s pace and quickness proved vital in counter attacking against Ecuador and will be vital against France.
Seferovic’s winner came off of a counter attack, and this style is exemplified by Rodriguez, the Swiss’ pacey left back. Rodriguez uses his speed to expose the left-flank and he also possess a useful crossing ability, which he demonstrated by assisting both of Switzerland’s goals.
In contrast to the Swiss, the French weren’t really challenged in their opening match. A stupid challenge by Wilson Palacios earned France a penalty kick and Palacios a red card, ending any competition in the match. Karim Benzema scored a brace with the help of the penalty and France went on to win 3-0.
Les Blues will be looking to show they can beat a team with 11 players since they were so untested last match, and they can do that against Switzerland whose backline looked shaky at times against Ecuador.
Kick-off: Friday, 8pm
Switzerland 0 France 0, World Cup, June 2006
Switzerland 1 (Magnin) France 1 (Cisse), World Cup Qualifying, October 2005
Switzerland 0 France 0, World Cup, March 2005
France and Switzerland are well acquainted having faced each other 36 times. France have won 15 games to the Swiss’ 12. There have been 9 draws.
Karim Benzema is the first French player to score a brace in a World Cup match since Zinedine Zidane in the 1998 final.
Switzerland have conceded just two goals in their last eight World Cup games.
If France scores against Switzerland, it will be their 100th World Cup goal.
Switzerland have not beaten France since 1992 when they won 2-1 in a friendly.
Switzerland to win: 4.8
France to win: 1.85
TV: Live on ITV at 8pm