After making it out of the group stages in three of their last four attempts, Switzerland is preparing for their fifth consecutive World Cup 2022 campaign when they go to Qatar.
In order to qualify for the finals, they surprised Italy, the defending champion of Europe. They also displayed their enormous potential earlier this year by defeating Spain and Portugal in the UEFA Nations League.
They have the squad to maintain teams’ skepticism as well. After relying on Haris Seferovic up front for years, the Swiss used a striker-by-committee strategy during qualifying. Breel Embolo scored three goals, but there were also goals from Mario Gavranovic, Cedric Itten, and Seferovic. Gavranovic and Itten won’t be on the final roster, thus Reuben Vargas and Christian Fassnacht will have more of a leadership role.
Morocco Squad, Captain, and Coach
- Goalkeepers: Yann Sommer, Jonas Omlin, Gregor Kobel, Philipp Kohn
- Defenders: Ricardo Rodriguez, Fabian Schar, Manuel Akanji, Nico elvedi, Silvan Widmer, Eray Comert
- Midfielders: Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka, Remo Freuler, Denis Zakaria, Dijbril Sow, Renato Steffen, Fabian Frei, Michel Aebischer, Ardon Jashari, Edimilson Fernandes, Fabian Rieder
- Forwards: Haris Seferovic, Breel Embolo, Ruben Vargas
- Captain: Granit Xhaka
- Coach: Murat Yakin
Switzerland Star Players
1. Granit Xhaka
Granit Xhaka, a midfielder who is in the best shape of his life, enters the World Cup at the perfect time. The 30-year-old, who has 106 caps to his name, will be the center of attention after excelling for Arsenal thus far this season.
This season, Xhaka has been instrumental in Mikel Arteta’s team’s ascent to the top of the Premier League standings. The Swiss captain has four goals in all competitions this season and has put in a series of reliable performances. He teams up well in midfield with Thomas Partey.
Xhaka will be trying to lead his country through the round of 16 for the first time since 1954 — they have failed to go past that stage in four of their previous five tries — while his importance at the club level is now higher than ever.
In their second match, they take on Brazil, one of the favorites in the tournament, but they are confident that they can beat Cameroon and Serbia and advance as runners-up.
2. Manuel Akanji
Since moving from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City in the summer, Manuel Akanji has thrived in the Premier League. The center-back represented his nation in two important competitions and participated fully in each.
In the 2-0 victory over the Faroe Islands in 2018, World Cup qualification game on June 9, 2017, Akanji earned his senior squad debut. He competed for the full 90 minutes. He was a member of the 23-man Swiss team roster for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Akanji participated in the UEFA Nations League Finals in May 2019, where his team came in fourth place. He was selected for the national team in 2021 in preparation for UEFA Euro 2020.
On September 24, 2022, Akanji scored his first goal for his country’s senior team against Spain in a 2-1 UEFA Nations League triumph.
Switzerland World Cup 2022 Possible Lineup
- Goalkeepers: Yann Sommer
- Defenders: Ricardo Rodriguez, Fabian Schar, Manuel Akanji, Nico elvedi, Granit Xhaka, Remo Freuler
- Midfielders: Xherdan Shaqiri, Dijbril Sow, Ruben Vargas
- Forward: Breel Embolo
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