By 90Min
June 26, 2018

Switzerland are set to face Costa Rica in their final match in Group E on Wednesday.

Switzerland are in a great position to qualify for the round of 16, after they picked up a huge 2-1 win against Serbia on Friday evening. 

Their path into the knockout round is not guaranteed, however, and they will be keeping one eye on what is happening in the other group match between Brazil and Serbia.

Image by Joe Marcovitch

Costa Rica on the other hand have nothing but pride to play for. They have been unable to replicate their heroics of 2014 and slipped to their second defeat from two games against Brazil on Friday. They will be looking to avoid losing their third consecutive match.


Key Player


Switzerland - Xherdan Shaqiri


There is no doubting who Switzerland look to for inspiration going forward. When the Stoke City winger is playing well, he is practically unplayable. 

He proved this against Serbia on Friday when he ran the show in the second half, scoring a late goal to steal all three points.

He looks as though he is playing to secure himself a big move after the tournament concludes and if carries on playing as well as he previously has done, that could be entirely possible.

Image by Joe Marcovitch

Costa Rica - Keylor Navas


The Real Madrid goalkeeper is now the most famous Costa Rican footballer in the country's history due to his four years with the world's biggest club.

He comes under a lot of criticism as would anyone if they played in goal for Real Madrid. But he has proven that he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world over the past few years.

His performance against Brazil was outstanding, but ultimately he was fighting against an unstoppable tide. He now has one more chance to prove himself against Switzerland.


Recent Form


Switzerland's recent form has been exemplary. They are undefeated in their previous six matches winning four and drawing two. Incidentally, those two draws came against Spain and Brazil. They have proven that they are strong at both ends of the pitch, where they have kept three clean sheets from six and scored 13 goals in the process.

Image by Joe Marcovitch

Costa Rica's form on the other hand has been awful. They have just one win in their last six matches, a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland. They have lost their five other matches and failed to score in four of those, highlighting where their current weaknesses are.


Team News

Switzerland will be incredibly relieved after their Premier League duo Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka were cleared of a potential two match ban following their controversial celebrations during the 2-1 win over Serbia. There are no reported injuries in the side and the only question will be whether Breel Embolo will be given a start after he made a positive impact off the bench against Serbia.

Image by Joe Marcovitch

Costa Rica also have a fully fit side to choose from but they will most likely keep things the same in an attempt to avoid finishing the group with no points.


Predicted Lineups


Switzerland (4-2-3-1): Sommer, Rodriguez, Schar, Akanji, Lichtsteiner, Xhaka, Behrami, Shaqiri, Dzemaili, Embolo, Gavranovic

Costa Rica (3-4-2-1): Navas, Acosta, Gonzalez, Duarte, Gamboa, Borges, Guzman, Calvo, Ruiz,Venegas, Urena


Prediction


Switzerland have looked very impressive and they have earned the right to be in prime position to qualify from the group.

Of course nothing is certain, but if they beat Costa Rica, they have every chance of finishing in first place in the group, which would earn them a hypothetically easier draw in the next round.


Costa Rica did make it difficult for both Serbia and Brazil but realistically never looked like they were going to cause them any issues for both side's defence. They have pride to play for however, and sometimes that can be enough to give sides a kick up the backside.

Switzerland should have enough quality get through this one comfortably.


Prediction: Switzerland 2-0 Costa Rica

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