Shaqiri and Schar enjoyed promising Premier League seasons with Newcastle United and Liverpool respectively.

Legendary Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has hailed Newcastle United defender Fabian Schar and Liverpool forward Xherdan Shaqiri as he backed the country to cause a shock in Wednesday’s Nations League semi-final against Portugal, while speaking to Goal and Omnisport.

The Swiss are enjoying something of a golden generation right now with a number of their 23-man squad plying their trade in the top tier of English football.

Marauding centre-half Schar was a revelation in his debut Premier League season at Newcastle, proving to be one of the bargains of the season at just £3.5 million.

Shaqiri, meanwhile, was a useful member of Jurgen Klopp’s squad as Liverpool won the Champions League while accumulating a club-record 97 points to finish second domestically behind Manchester City.

And both players are among the current members of Switzerland’s squad who have Hitzfeld licking his lips ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Nations League hosts Portugal.

“Switzerland have outstanding young players. They have very good players with foreign roots who are all perfect football players,” Hitzfeld said.

“They have a good set up with [Fabian] Schar, [Yann] Sommer, [Granit] Xhaka, [Haris] Seferovic, or [Xherdan] Shaqiri. They have great talents. Switzerland can do a great job in the coming years.”

A victory over Portugal at Porto’s Estadio do Dragao on Wednesday will set up a final against either England or Holland in UEFA’s inaugural edition of this new-look and exciting international tournament.

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