Preview: Switzerland vs Italy – Team News, Lineups & Prediction

Olympiastadion in Berlin sets the stage for a mouth-watering 2022 UEFA European Championship round-of-16 tie between Switzerland and Italy. Gli Azzurri’s title defense faces a stern test following an erratic group stage campaign, but they come into proceedings as pre-match favorites.

Murat Yakin’s men have qualified for the knockouts as Group A runners-up to host nation Germany. After a thumping 3-1 win against Hungary to kick things off in their section, Switzerland shared the spoils with the Germans and Scotland in the other two group fixtures, extending their unenviable run to three draws in their last four internationals.

Another stalemate would see this exciting tie head into extra time and possibly penalties, a scenario foreseen by Inter goalkeeper Yann Sommer in the build-up to the game. Sommer thwarted Jorginho’s attempt from the spot in a crucial 2022 World Cup qualifier, which eventually cost Italy a place in Qatar.

Certainly no strangers to nail-biting knockout contests, Italy based their iconic Euro 2020 success on post-regulation victories. Three of their four knockout wins at the previous tournament arrived beyond 90 minutes of play, including a penalty shoot-out triumph against England in the grand final.

Well-versed in navigating high-octane environments, Italy won’t shy away from the challenge. Luciano Spalletti’s team squeaked into the knockouts as Group B’s second-placed team behind Spain, courtesy of Mattia Zaccagni’s last-gasp equalizer in a 1-1 draw against Croatia in the group-stage finale.

Match Preview


Despite their recent tendency to produce evenly-contested affairs, Switzerland’s fighting spirits remain off the charts. Yakin’s men have recovered from a deficit to avoid defeat twice in their last four outings, suggesting Italy can’t get complacent even if they open the scoring.


But the last time the Swiss encountered the Italians at the Euros, it didn’t end well for them. Roberto Mancini’s title-winning group thrashed the Nati 3-0 in the group stage of the 2020 tournament. That defeat forms part of Switzerland’s dreadful run of nine consecutive matches against Gli Azzurri without a win (D6, L3).

As aforementioned, the recent ‘stalemate trend’ in Switzerland’s fixtures could continue. However, it could prove detrimental to their hopes of reaching the Euros quarter-finals for only the second time in the nation’s history. Switzerland’s eliminations in 2016 and 2020 both came on penalties.


Despite making it to the knockout stages of a European Championship for the fifth consecutive tournament, the Italians’ group-stage performances flattered to deceive. After conceding the earliest goal in Euro finals history in a 2-1 win against Albania, Italy collapsed against Spain in round two.

Gianluigi Donnarumma’s standout showing between the sticks contained the damage as Italy slipped to a narrow 1-0 loss before Zaccagni’s superb 98th-minute equalizer against Croatia sneaked them into the round of 16. On a more positive note, the Spaniards are the only team to have defeated Gli Azzurri in their last nine internationals (W5, D3).

In search of more good omens, Italy have emerged victorious from both previous Euro last-16 ties. The last time they failed to progress past the opening knockout stage at the tournament was in 2008. Maintaining their decent run at this juncture will likely rest on the defense’s shoulders.

Spalletti’s misfiring troops have netted one goal or fewer in four of their last five games, which has been the case in five of their six meetings with Switzerland in the 21st century.

Team News

Switzerland will be without Mainz defender Silvan Widmer who picked up two yellow cards during the group phase. Nonetheless, Yakin will have all his talismanic figures fit and firing, including Bologna’s dynamic trio Michel Aebischer, Remo Freuler, and Dan Ndoye.

Meanwhile, Italy boss Spalletti confirmed in the pre-game conference that Inter star Federico Dimarco is unavailable for selection due to injury. His clubmate Matteo Darmian should fill the vacancy. Meanwhile, Gli Azzurri lost Riccardo Calafiori to suspension, with Gianluca Mancini set to take his place in the starting XI for the first time this summer.

Switzerland vs Italy Potential Lineups

Switzerland (3-4-2-1): Yann Sommer; Fabian Schar, Manuel Akanji, Ricardo Rodriguez; Leonidas Stergiou, Granit Xhaka, Remo Freuler, Michel Aebischer; Dan Ndoye, Ruben Vargas; Breel Embolo.

Italy (4-3-3): Gianluigi Donnarumma; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Gianluca Mancini, Alessandro Bastoni, Matteo Darmian; Bryan Cristante, Nicolo Fagioli, Nicolo Barella; Federico Chiesa, Gianluca Scamacca, Mattia Zaccagni.

Switzerland vs Italy Prediction

With numerous Swiss stars plying their trade in Serie A, it’s only natural to assume they’re well-prepared for this contest. Despite facing the odds, Yakin’s men deserve the benefit of the doubt, especially considering Italy’s unconvincing showings at the tournament.

There’s a feeling this game will go to extra time and perhaps penalties. That’s where Spalletti’s experience should come into play. We expect a fiercely contested battle but back Italy to come out on top.

Prediction: Italy to Progress

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