By 90Min
June 02, 2018

Spain will host Switzerland in both side's first of two World Cup warm-up games on Sunday evening at the Estadio de la Ceramica.

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Julen Lopetegui's side will be looking to finalise their preparations for the tournament in style as they get set to play their final match on home soil before heading to Russia later this month.


They will, however, have their work cut out against a strong Switzerland side who beat Panama 6-0 in their previous fixture in March. Their defensive line have kept eight clean sheets in their previous 10 games, and will be looking to make that nine against a very strong Spanish attack.


Classic Encounter


Spain 0-1 Switzerland (World Cup 2010)


In one of the biggest upsets of the tournament, Switzerland defeated tournament favourites Spain 1-0 in their opening game of the tournament. After wasting a series of chances in the first half, Spain were made to pay early in the second half after Gelson Fernandes' effort was bundled over the line after 52 minutes.

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The Spaniards couldn't find an equalising goal and went onto lose what would be just their second match in 49 games. It was the perfect start to the tournament for the Swiss, however that was as good as it got, with a draw and a loss in their following two games meaning they to secure qualification from their group after finishing third.

On the other hand, whilst it was a disastrous start for Vicente Del Bosque's men, it ultimately didn't cost them as they won all of their next seven games and won the World Cup after an extra-time victory over the Netherlands in the final.


Key Battle


Isco vs. Remo Freuler


Isco has become a key member of the Spanish side in recent months having most notably bagged a hat-trick during a 6-1 thrashing of Argentina in an international friendly back in March. He has also shown good club form at Real Madrid this season having scored seven goals and contributed seven assists in 21 La Liga appearances.

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He'll certainly be one to watch this summer, however, if the Swiss want to keep him quiet on Sunday evening they will be relying on Remo Freuler to limit his impact. With Granit Xhaka ruled out of the game through injury, it looks as though Atalanta's holding midfielder will be tasked with anchoring the midfielder.

The outcome of the game on Sunday may well rest on whether or not Freuler can limit Isco's impact on the game, with the Spaniard looking to give the home fans a glimpse of what they can look forward to at the World Cup finals later this month.


Team News

The most notable absentee from the Spanish squad will be Dani Carvajal. The full-back picked up a hamstring injury during Real Madrid's 3-1 win over Liverpool in the Champions League final one week ago, and although he is expected to recover in time for the World Cup, he has been made unavailable for Sunday's game.

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As for the Swiss, they will be without Xhaka who misses out after suffering a knee injury during a training session, who like Carvajal is expected to return in time for the World Cup however will play no part in Sunday's friendly. Vladamir Petkovic has selected a preliminary 26-man squad which must be cut down, therefore we may expect to see some fridge players featuring.


Predicted Lineups


Spain: De Gea; Azpilicueta, Ramos, Pique, Alba; Koke, Thiago; Iniesta, Isco, Silva; Costa.


Switzerland: Sommer; Rodriguez, Schar, Akanji, Lichtsteiner; Freuler, Zakaria; Shaqiri, Dzemaili, Zuber; Seferovic.


Prediction

Both sides head into the came coming off the back of crushing defeats, although Spain's 6-1 thrashing of Argentina was more impressive than Switzerland's 6-0 drumming of Panama given the quality of the opposition. Lopetegui's side also come into the game on an 18-match unbeaten run having not lost a game since Euro 2016.

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The only hope for the Swiss to get anything from the game will be the fact that Lopetegui may be tempted to rest some of his Real Madrid stars who were in action just a week ago. However, Spain will likely still have enough strength in depth to cover those players missing and still field a star-studded squad.

Predicted Scoreline: Spain 3-0 Switzerland

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)