On Monday, Switzerland will face off against England at the St. Jakob-Park stadium in Basel for the first of the Group E qualifying games for Euro 2016. The top two teams from each group and the best team in third place will qualify for the 24-team competition.
England are currently ranked 20th in the FIFA world rankings which is 9 spots below Switzerland who are sitting in 9th position. The Swiss had a much better World Cup than England that saw them reach the last of 16 in Brazil when they were unable to progress to the quarter finals due to Angel Di Maria’s goal that won it for Argentina in extra time.
England played in a friendly against Norway just a week ago whilst Switzerland will go into this opening Euro 2016 qualifier without having played a game since their World Cup campaign. England won their recent friendly in unimpressive fashion. They dominated position but the game was decided by a penalty goal which was scored by Wayne Rooney, the new England captain.
Interestingly, England’s coach Roy Hodgson managed the Switzerland international team between 1992 and 1995 so he would be very knowledgeable about how the Swiss play. Both Switzerland and England are considered the strongest teams in Group E. It is a group which also includes Slovenia, San Marino, Estonia, and Lithuania.
England will be without Daniel Sturridge for this opening qualifying game. He is forced to miss the game with a thigh problem. Whilst the aim is to always try and win the game, you can see this tie being closely contested with both teams not wanting to give the other the upper hand in the group so a draw might suit both teams well. The best odds on a draw in this game are with Bet365 at 9/4 whilst the odds of 1/2 on there being under 2.5 goals seems like a good bet to make.