France survived the token “Group of Death” as everyone imagined they would, but their group stage performance was anything but inspiring, despite the stiff level of competition. Switzerland, on the other hand, is entering this Round of 16 matchup after a 3-1 victory over Turkey, an important win that propelled them through to the knockout round despite allowing more goals than they scored. The winner of this one will meet the winner of Croatia vs. Spain in the quarterfinals.
Croatia vs. Spain: Euro 2020 Odds & Game Pick >>
The French entered the Euro 2020 tournament as the betting favorites to win it all, but their performance through the first three games has to have bettors a bit tentative. France managed to advance despite being placed in a loaded group that included Hungary, Portugal, and Germany, but each of the three games created a bit of worry for fans of French football.
The team tied a Hungary squad that had no business being ahead one goal to nil nearly two-thirds of the way through the match, defeated Germany despite not looking the slightest bit crisp from whistle to whistle, and allowed two goals to Portugal in one of the more exciting and up-tempo matches of the group stage. Although the most complete team in Euro 2020 hasn’t impressed just yet – they’ve got the seventh-lowest expected goals output of any team in the Round of 16 – it’s their time to shine, and a date with an overmatched Swiss side should be exactly what helps them break out of their funk.
Worst Expected goals(xG) :
Czech Republic- 2.81
4/n#EURO2020 #EUROS2020 #EuroFantasy pic.twitter.com/LgR3kt8bUr
— ALLABOUTFPL (@allaboutfpl) June 25, 2021
It’s not all bad news for France. They still finished with a win and two draws, good enough for the top spot in Group F, they had the second-best mark in terms of passing accuracy in the group stage (89.0%), and they conceded just three goals despite battling both Portugal and Germany.
The Swiss are tied with the Croatians as the second-heaviest underdogs in the Round of 16 (+550). Switzerland tallied a win, a loss, and a draw, but the country’s minus-1 goal differential dropped them to third place in Group A. They also own the fourth-lowest expected goal total of any team in the Round of 16 (4.22), and they were only able to eke out a single goal against Italy and Wales – the two other squads who advanced from Group A.
There’s a lot on the line for Switzerland; they’ve never beaten France in a non-friendly match, and they haven’t advanced to the quarterfinals of any national tournament since 1954. They couldn’t have asked for a stronger opponent to stand in their way, so it’s going to be quite the mountain to climb if the Swiss want to make some history.
The host country isn’t going to let their uninspiring play from the group stage leak into the knockout round. France should roll in this one, and I think they’ll put as much heat as possible on Switzerland early. Kylian Mbappe still has yet to score in the tournament, something I expect to change in the first half on Monday.
You’ve heard “iron sharpens iron,” and that’s exactly the mindset France must have moving forward. They were dealt the Group of Death, they navigated it, and the stiff competition they were up against right out of the gate should have them in top form against a Swiss side that’ll be pretty heavily outclassed. Look for France to jump out to an early lead in this one and take it all the way to the final whistle.
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