Competition: International Friendly – Switzerland vs. USA
Venue: Stadion Letzigrund, Switzerland – Tuesday, March 31 – 12:00 ET (17:00 BST)
Match Odds: Switzerland 1/1 – Draw 23/10 – USA 13/5
The USA complete their international break with a trip to Zurich to play Switzerland in what is another tough test for an experimental US Men’s National Team squad.
Switzerland are currently ranked as the twelfth best national side in the FIFA World Rankings and are higher than both Chile and Denmark – two sides who have already beaten the USMNT in 2015.
Jurgen Klinsmann is without key players Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler and Clint Dempsey to name just a few, so the squad isn’t at full strength. That means this is a perfect opportunity for fringe players to play themselves into Klinsmann’s Gold Cup plans and it will be important to try and put in a better performance than in Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to Denmark.Embed from Getty Images
After a poor recent run that has seen the USMNT lose four of their last five, a lot of fans are calling for improved results and a more positive feel going into a tournament that the USA are expected to win this summer.
Klinsmann is clearly experimenting and some might even say he still doesn’t know his best team yet. A result and a good performance with it are much needed on Tuesday afternoon.
Switzerland come into this friendly having won 3-0 against Estonia on Friday night in their European Championship qualifier.
Switzerland are now unbeaten in their last four, and have enough firepower to test a quite fragile USA defence. Players like Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka will be tough to contain and Nicklas Bendtner’s hat-trick last Wednesday proves there are problems at the back.Embed from Getty Images
Switzerland currently lie joint-second in Group E of their European Championship qualifying group, behind England and are a well-oiled team that have scored 13 goals in their last four, conceding just twice.
This will be the eighth meeting between the two nations. The USMNT won their only ever game against Switzerland in the most recent meeting in 2007, courtesy of a late Michael Bradley goal.
Switzerland have no injury concerns going into this one and they’re expected to name an unchanged side from the team that beat Estonia 3-0 on Friday. Johan Djourou and Fabian Schar are expected to continue at centre-back, while Xherdan Shaqiri should continue at the point of a diamond in midfield.
The USA will be without Aron Johannsson after he withdrew with an infection, so College star Jordan Morris has been called up as cover. Jozy Altidore could play upfront on his own or could partner Gyasi Zardes up front if Klinsmann moves Zardes into his more familiar role this time after he started on the right side of midfield against Denmark. Changes from that defeat last week are expected as Klinsmann experiments for the upcoming Gold Cup in July.
Switzerland’s last five: L/W/W/D/W
USA’s last five: L/L/L/W/L
Key Stat: USA has lost a lead on four occasions in their last three matches, conceding four of the six goals in the second-half.Embed from Getty Images
Key Player: Xherdan Shaqiri – The Swiss playmaker will be a huge problem for the USMNT to deal with, and they may have to play an extra man in midfield to try and contain him.
Switzerland 2-1 USA – Klinsmann’s side will need to put in a better display than they did against Denmark and they are expected to do so. Though this Switzerland side are very strong and are on a good run at the moment. They should edge it but the USA must make sure they can take some positives from the game.