Euro 2016 Group A: Shaqiri sets scoring sights as Switzerland seek Romania rout
Robbie Purves | June 13, 2016
Romania v Switzerland
- Euro 2016 Group A
- Wednesday, June 15th
- Kick-off: 17:00 BST
- Parc des Princes, Paris
- Live on ITV 1
Swiss seek Romania rout
After losing their Euro 2016 curtain raiser to host nation France, Group A rivals Romania will lock horns with Switzerland (Coral having the Swiss 11/8 to triumph) at the Parc des Princes, as the two nations look to boost their qualifying chances from the pool stage.
When it comes to head-to-heads, there is nothing between the two, as the sides have each won five apiece with the other two ending level.
This game is huge for both teams, as a triumph for Vladimir Petkovic’s Swiss men would see them go up to six points, a figure that should be enough to see them through to the elimination stages and banish their barren European Championship record. Switzerland have finished bottom of their group in each of their three previous Euros, winning only two of nine matches.
Romania have played 14 fixtures at European Championship finals and their only victory came courtesy of a last-minute penalty to beat England in 2000 and advance to the quarter-finals. However, a win for Anghel Iordanescu’s outfit (9/4 to occur) would present them with a cracking chance of progressing, with them fancying their chances of registering at least a draw against Albania in their final group game.
Shaqiri sets scoring sights
Stoke City wingman Xherdan Shaqiri was at the heart of every attacking move Switzerland made against Albania in their tournament opener. Shaqiri scored four goals and made an impressive six assists en route to France, so his pace, strength and ability to create chances out of nothing means he will be an intriguing offensive threat against Romania.
The stocky midfielder looked very strong in the opening Swiss triumph and set up the winning goal with a lovely looping cross from a corner. Shaqiri’s ability to cut in from the right flank and beat the defenders means Romania’s right back, Razvan Rat, will be in for a torrid time and the Stoke man is 7/1 to score first in his nation’s second group game.
However, the Tricolorii have a threat of their own. Left winger Bogdan Stancu is a player that the Swiss defence will have to pay special attention to. He found the back of the net in the previous game, albeit from the penalty spot, but was a real handful bombing up and down the flank versus France. The 28-year-old is 7/1 to net last in this crucial clash against the Swiss.
Key battles to keep an eye on
Born in Botosan, Romania, but raised in Spain, Florin Andone (11/4 to notch anytime) is impressing for Spanish club Cordoba. The forward attacks space, has great technique and seems to be always on the move.
Andone registered 21 goals this season for his club and the 23 year-old has garnered interest from Southampton, Sevilla and Malaga before. The forward, likely on the move this summer, will be a fierce foe for defender and set-piece threat Fabian Schar (11/2 for his second strike of the tournament) to contain.
The tussle between Romania’s captain Vlad Chiriches and Switzerland forward Haris Seferovic (6/4) should also be a face-off football fans will enjoy. Chiriches may have registered two unconvincing seasons at Tottenham and is finding it equally hard to cement a first team place in Italy with Napoli, but the defender is absolutely crucial to his nation’s recent success.
Romania finished the qualifying campaign with the best defensive record, conceding just two, but Seferovic will set out to break the Tricolorii’s defensive wall. The Eintracht Frankfurt striker is excellent at bringing others into play and Chiriches will need to keep him quiet if the Romanians hope to null the Swiss offensive line.
Coral’s top tip: Shaqiri 7/1 to score first against Romania.