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Switzerland vs England – Swiss out to break 28-year winless streak

| 07.09.2010

It is 28 years since Switzerland last beat England and they will be hoping to bring this barren run to an end in their first Group G encounter in qualifying for Euro 2012.

Switzerland beat England 2-1 in Basel during qualifying for the 1982 World Cup, while their only other two successes have been in friendlies in Zurich, with the most recent coming in 1947.

The Swiss are 7/2 to claim the three points and Ottmar Hitzfeld is sure to opt for a compact midfield in order to frustrate England.

This approach worked well as they proved the only team to beat Spain at the World Cup, opting for a display of organisation and defensive strength, rather than attacking fluidity.

Although they are without influential winger Tranquillo Barnetta, who has withdrawn with a fever, while Hakan Yakin is also missing, alongside defenders Philippe Senderos and Mario Eggimann.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Diego Benaglio may be absent as his wife is set to give birth to their first child.

Fabio Capello has also been impacted by a number of absentees, with John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and Michael Dawson all out in central defence, leaving the relatively inexperienced Phil Jagielka to be partnered by another novice in Gary Cahill or Matthew Upson.

Frank Lampard, Peter Crouch and Bobby Zamora are others to miss out as England look to build on their strong record in Switzerland, where they have won seven of the previous 11 meetings.

Alexander Frei is possibly Switzerland’s chief goal threat and is 7/1 to take advantage of England’s defensive problems to open the scoring.

Wayne Rooney is set to feature for England despite reports about his personal life and he is 5/4 to find the net at any time.

England are 2/9 to top Group G after beating Bulgaria 4-0 in their opening game. A Switzerland win would boost their chances of topping the group, for which they are 11/2.



Ed Needham