Sunday, 19 June 2016

France v Switzerland - Match Analysis

Both teams sit with different feelings within their camps, hosts France sit with two wins from two and will most likely cruise to another when they kick off at 8pm tonight. Whilst the Swiss so far will be searching for something more to kick start their campaign, only scraping a draw and win against the two outsiders of the group.

Didier Deschamps rang the changes to his squad, with a safety net of points and anything from a draw upwards will confirm the top spot as West Ham's Payet and Manchester United's Anthony Martial take to the bench along with French talisman Oliver Giroud. Andre-Pierre Gignac, Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sissoko come into a team that looks set to take the point.

From the draw against Romania coach Vladimir Petković makes one change to the starting line up, Haris Seferović drops to the bench and in comes highly-rated FC Basel forward Breel Embolo, who is currently linked with a move to Manchester United. Wide men Mehmedi and Shaqiri keep their places as they look to offer service to the young front man.

As kick off looms, L'equipe can't be confident of their performances so far, although the pressure of hosting may have some part to play, solo feats from Payet in particular have saved face. Maybe against a Swiss side that need the win to be sure of second place qualifier, the game will open up and suit the wide men of both teams.

Whilst the squad was changed, the intensity of Moussa Sissoko seemed to add urgency to the midfield, it seemed France had been lacking in previous games. Many have slated the starting eleven as substandard, but talent is evident in depth. Switzerland this tournament have the quality but miss the clinical aspect of the final ball. A big chance for the Swiss from a corner, Pogba facing the ball up to his own goal, covered by Lloris, but still worrying for the French defence.

Pogba for the most part found a lot of space and forced a top save from Bundesliga keeper Sommer who nearly dropped it into his own net. Once again Sommer denied Pogba after great determination on the edge of the box. For all of the games so far, this has been the most intense and fast paced game yet. The swiss struggled to pick up the french midfield and became overrun, and this was the main reason Embolo struggled to create anything up front, with little support and Shaqiri having little or no impact. The half fizzled out as Switzerland settled into their passing rhythm after 30 minutes of disarray.
Sad to say the highlight early on in the second half was the ball popping, something many had never witnessed before and became a talking point, embarrassingly. Swiss having finished the half strongly in possession seemed more than happy to carry that over, interesting to see whether Deschamps will rest the key stars and settle for the draw. Griezmann looking to open his account after a fabulous bit of play with Gignac, only to fire straight at the keeper, throwing his fists disappointingly. 

One note for the french side will be looking to improve is their defending from set pieces, missing a real leader at the back seems to effect the organisation. As Rio Ferdinand stated in the half time analysis, France aren't generally gelling as a team so far, but can win games on pure individual talent the game became sparse of ideas, whilst both just seemed happy to settle for a point each, making no real difference to the standings. Enter Payet. As previously mentioned, Sissoko made a thought for food with a stunning run to set up Payet at the back post, who struck the crossbar on the volley. 

Being a 0-0 final result, reflecting on the way the game started many would be shocked, considering how much action there was in the face of goal. Both teams walk away happy, along with Albania winning 1-0 in the other game in Group A, Romania will be the team going home. Plenty for both managers take away from that game, regardless of the changes made.





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