The Swiss national team had the pleasure of being seeded for the group draw above some other questionably better teams. Can they stay consistent and bring the level of play expected from a seeded team?
Hands up if you were surprised to learn that Switzerland had been seeded in this tournament, over and above more fancied sides such as Italy, France, Portugal and even England? Ottmar Hitzfeld’s side have had some impressive results over the past few years – including a 1-0 win over eventual champions Spain in the 2010 Finals – and are a team that you should underestimate at your peril.
Their big problem, though, is inconsistency. They won their qualifying group with a game to spare, but would have done so even more comfortably had they not drawn games against the likes of Cyprus and Iceland, in the latter match actually coming back to draw 4-4 after being 4-1 down.
The draw has favoured the Swiss this time around, with only France as serious contenders for qualification in the group. This makes their odds of qualifying from Group E comparatively short at 1.73 with BetVictor, but means that a better bet might be the total points they score in the group stage, with 7 looking like a strong bet at 6.5 with 888.com, representing as it does a draw against France and wins over the other two sides.
Where things become very interesting for the Swiss is in the knockout stages. Failing to win the group almost guarantees a match against Argentina in the second round, in which case it is worth taking whatever odds are available on their elimination at that stage (currently best priced at 2.88 with SkyBet). Winning the group, on the other hand, brings a match against the runners up from Group F, any of whom Switzerland should be more than a match for. That could see them into the quarter finals for the first time since 1954 (when the Finals were actually in Switzerland), where they would probably play Germany or Portugal. Betting on them being eliminated then should bring some good rewards, with the current price being 6.5 or thereabouts.