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World Cup 2014 Team-by-Team Guide: Switzerland to frustrate

| 28.05.2014

Past tournaments: 1934, 1938, 1950, 1954, 1962, 1966, 1994, 2006, 2010

Previous Best: Quarter-Finals – Italy 1934, France 1938 and Switzerland 1954

How they got here: Although the Swiss benefited from an extremely weak qualifying group they still managed to qualify in impressive fashion, keeping seven clean sheets from their 10 outings.

Ottmar Hitzfeld’s men conceded just six goals in qualifying, with four of those coming in a barmy 4-4 draw with Iceland in which they let a three-goal lead slip.

That result aside, the Swiss convinced by winning seven games and finishing top of their group unbeaten.

Star man: Phillippe Senderos (Valencia)

As winners of the U17 World Cup in 2009 there are plenty of young and talented individuals among the Swiss squad but most still have their best years ahead of them.

This and the fact that Switzerland’s default setting in Brazil will be to be hard to beat means that former Arsenal and Fulham man Senderos will be key to his country’s chances.

The absence of a reliable goal scorer in the side makes solid defence a priority and Senderos will carry the hopes of a nation on his broad shoulders.

Remind yourself of Senderos’ defensive abilities with this Pharrell-soundtracked montage:

Under the radar: Ricardo Rodriguez (VfL Wolfsburg)

The 21-year-old free-kick wizard has not yet received the recognition he deserves but that could all change after this World Cup.

The attack-minded left-back was integral in Switzerland’s U17 World Cup win in Nigeria, matching the three tournament goals scored by Germany’s Mario Gotze and Spain’s Isco.

Now plying his trade with Wolfsburg he has already attracted the attention of a host of Premier League clubs and this interest could rocket with a star showing in Brazil.

rODRIGUEZsTICKER

Team nutcase: Johan Djourou (Hamburg)

Given their reputation for sitting on the fence it’s no surprise that the Swiss lack a nutcase in the crunching tackle, bloodied bandage on head mould but former Arsenal man Djourou gets the nod for this wacky music video filmed during his spell at the Emirates.

What the hell was he thinking?

How will they get on?

Given their defensive discipline there is plenty of belief that the Swiss can navigate a group containing France, Ecuador and Honduras. However, they are unlikely to top the group and therefore are on course to face Argentina in the second round where they will surely be sent packing by Messi and co.

To win the World Cup: 100/1

Best World Cup Bet: To concede under 2.5 group goals – 11/8

How far do you think Switzerland can go at the World Cup? Tweet @JamesLCParry with your views now or comment below!

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Author

James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.