Switzerland v France - Match Preview

France face Switzerland in Salvador, knowing that whoever wins this match is likely to avoid Argentina in the next round.

To be played on Friday 20th June 2014 at 20:00. Venue: Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador.

Odds: Switzerland 100/30, Draw 13/5, France 4/5

Preview & injury news

France are expected so start the same team that comfortably beat Honduras 3-0 in their opening match of the 2014 World Cup. Karim Benzema, who scored two and played an important role in Honduras goalkeeper Valladares' own goal, is set to lead the French attack again and forcing Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud to be on the bench. Their comfortable win against Honduras was sure to give Le Bleu confidence and exert the demons of their horrendous World Cup campaign four years ago. 

Switzerland, on the other hand, had it far from easy in their opening match against Ecuador. A last minute winner from substitute Haris Seferovic secured a 2-1 win over their South American opponents, a victory that puts them in a good position to qualify from Group E. Their only change is likely to come in defence, where Fabian Schar is expected to replace Johann Djourou after the former Arsenal player was at fault for Ecuador's only goal. It is likely the two players who scored Switzerland's goals on Sunday, Admir Mehmedi and Haris Seferovic, will remain on the bench and look to have a positive impact late on as they did in their World Cup opener.

Key stats

The last three games between Switzerland and France have all been drawn and have only produced two goals.

France are unbeaten in their last five games against Switzerland (W2 D3).

Eight of Switzerland's last 10 goals at the World Cup have come in the second half.

5 players to watch

Karim Benzema - The Real Madrid man has been in rich goal scoring form for club and country as of late. He went 15 matches without a goal for France, but ended that record in October and has since been on a rich vein of form. He has scored eight in his last seven matches now, and will look to carry France's main attacking threat in the absence of Frank Ribery.  

Gokhan Inler - The Switzerland midfielder will need to be at his best in the middle of the midfield to protect his defence from the France creative trio of Matuidi, Pogba and Cabaye. He is also more than capable of stepping forward with the ball at his feet and causing problems with the French midfield with his passing and long-range shots.

Paul Pogba - The youthful exuberance from Pogba on Sunday was a real positive for the French to take forward. However that inexperience almost proved costly in the first half when he kicked out at Wilson Palacios after a poor tackle from the Honduras man. He could have easily got sent-off after that, but should he be able to tame his aggression and concentrate on his brilliant talent, he can be a match winner.

Stephan Lichtsteiner - Pogba's club team-mate at Juventus Stephen Lichtsteiner is known as Forrest Gump in Switzerland. For the record, he is called that for his relentless energy and sprinting, not for his stupidity. Yet that very energy is a real weapon for the Swiss, and he will look to get up and down his right hand side throughout the match, he will be hoping his energy is worthy of three points for Switzerland.

Yohan Cabaye - The former Newcastle United midfielder has struggled to cement a starting role for Paris Saint Germain, personally not sure why. He was the deep-lying midfielder for France on Sunday, and it was his job to spray the ball from back to front and be the catalyst for all their attacking threat. Cabaye played that role brilliantly, especially a superb assist for Benzema's second, look out for his passing ability on Friday.

Last time they met

Switzerland 0 France 0, World Cup, June 2006

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch