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Preview – Poland v Switzerland

Preview – Poland v Switzerland

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The first round-of-16 knockout tie of Euro 2016 sees unbeaten duo Poland and Switzerland go head-to-head in St Etienne on Saturday.

Both nations have already surpassed their previous best European Championship records as the Poles had never negotiated the group in their only previous tournaments in 2008 and 2012, while the Swiss failed in three previous attempts to reach the knockout stages.

Ironically, despite Euro 2016 being extended to 24 teams from the original 16-team format, the two sides qualified from their respective groups in their own right in second place.

The Poles have arguably impressed more given that they have yet to concede in three Group C matches, having recorded respective 1-0 wins over Northern Ireland and Ukraine with a goalless draw against world champions Germany sandwiched in between.

They finished level on seven points with Joachim Low’s side but had to settle for second place due to an inferior goal difference.

Switzerland did impress in their final Group A clash with hosts France, holding them to a 0-0 draw, having already defeated Albania 1-0 and drawing 1-1 against Romania.

While both sides have impressed defensively, they have also found goals difficult to come by so far in France, although Poland coach Adam Nawalka has backed talisman Robert Lewandowski to get a goal his performances in the group games have warranted.

He said: “The fact he hasn’t scored yet doesn’t matter, it’s just a matter of time. He’s creating more chances and I think he will score in the next match.”

Nawalka, who is without suspended midfielder Bartosz Kapustka, also revealed that Jakub Blaszczykowski will start after he came off the bench to score the winner against Ukraine.

Swiss coach Vladimir Petkovic will be looking to Stoke star Xherdan Shaqiri and Arsenal’s new signing Granit Xhaka to provide more attacking threat from midfield and help break down a stubborn Polish backline.

The Poles have the weight of history backing their claim for the victory as they have won three out of their four previous head-to-heads, while the last game between the sides ended in a 2-2 draw in a friendly in November 2014.

Poland are priced at 33/20 to win the game, while they are 19/4 to do so by another 1-0 scoreline. The Swiss can be backed at 41/20 to win and the draw is 39/20.

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Gareth Freeman Gareth is our daily tipster, who has years of successful sports betting behind him and is always on hand to offer a value bet. As well as a passion for Football (UK and European), he also has in-depth Tennis, Boxing, Snooker and Basketball knowledge.