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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

England may struggle to bounce back quickly from Spain defeat

Swiss unlikely to roll over in Leicester

England captain Harry Kane
1 of 1

International friendly
Sky Sports Main Event, 8pm Tuesday

The opening 25 seconds of England's friendly against Switzerland will be broadcast in black and white to honour the 25th anniversary of the Kick It Out campaign but the case for backing the Three Lions at Leicester is far from black and white.

As with all international friendlies it is hard to be confident about team selections and motivation and there is potential for wholesale substitutions disrupting the flow of the contest, but with that in mind England appear a risky betting proposition.

Gareth Southgate's side were beaten 2-1 by Spain at Wembley in their Nations League opener on Saturday, dampening spirits after the run to the World Cup semi-finals.

Maybe with a bit more luck England could have nicked a late draw as Danny Welbeck's effort was controversially ruled out, although the problem of being outnumbered in midfield remains from Russia.

England are also short of potential goalscorers with only two players in the squad - Harry Kane and Welbeck - having notched more than four international goals.

Jamie Vardy has retired, while Raheem Sterling and Dele Alli are injured and Southgate may well need to ask Kane to go to the well once more even though the World Cup Golden Boot winner is clearly in need of a rest.

However, with important Premier League games on the horizon, not to mention the Champions League starting next week, Southgate could be under pressure to ease the load on his influential performers which gives Switzerland more of a chance to hold their own.

The Swiss, who reached the last 16 at the World Cup, opened their Nations League campaign with a 6-0 thrashing of Iceland in which even much-maligned striker Haris Seferovic scored.

Switzerland have lost only two of their 22 matches since exiting the European Championship to Poland at the last-16 stage on penalties in 2016 and will still be kicking themselves at losing to Sweden in Russia when they had been considered favourites to progress.

Vladimir Petkovic's organised outfit had looked decent early on at the World Cup, drawing with Brazil and beating Serbia, while they also managed a 1-1 draw against Spain in a pre-tournament contest.

Star man Xherdan Shaqiri is far from a regular at Liverpool so presumably won't need to be protected for their clash against Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday and the Swiss media have suggested their team could be unchanged from Saturday.

One possible switch may come at right-back where Arsenal's Stephan Lichtsteiner is battling Kevin Mbabu, who made his debut against Iceland, but that only goes to highlight the depth of the squad.

Mbabu of Young Boys and Benfica's Seferovic were the only starters from the weekend who don't play in one of Europe's top four leagues.

Recommendation
Switzerland or draw double chance
1pt 6-5 Sky Bet

Bet on this game at Soccerbase.com

Team news
England
Gareth Southgate has called up Leicester pair Ben Chilwell and Demarai Gray to replace te injured Dele Alli and Luke Shaw.

Switzerland
Reserve keeper Roman Burki is Switzerland's only injury.

Key stat
England have won only three of their last nine friendlies.


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England have won only three of their last nine friendlies
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