2018 World Cup | Qualifying Team Guide | Switzerland

Drawn in Group E alongside Brazil, Switzerland are an outsider for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Even so, the bookmakers do give them a strong chance of qualifying for the knockout stages. The Switzerland World Cup campaign will begin in Rostov on June 17th where the meet Brazil. After Brazil they take on Serbia in what looks to be a decisive fixture. They’ll go head to head with this evenly matched side in Kaliningrad five days later. They close their group campaign against Costa Rica in Nizhny Novgorod on June 27th.

The Swiss are a best price of 100/1 with ladbrokes logo to win the tournament, while they are the 13/2 second favourites with the same firm to win their group. They are rated slightly higher than Serbia and stronger than Costa Rica.

  • Fifa Ranking: 8
  • Tournament Best: Quarter Finals 1934, 1938, 1954
  • Switzerland World Cup Appearances: 19

Switzerland World Cup – Road to Russia 2018

Switzerland World Cup

Switzerland’s players celebrate winning the World Cup play-offs second leg soccer match between Switzerland and Northern Ireland at the St. Jakob-Park stadium in Basel, Switzerland, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP) @ Polfoto

Manager Vladimir Petkovic, (born in Sarajevo but spent his playing and coaching career in Switzerland), oversaw an impressive qualifying campaign. Yet, his side were forced through the play-offs after Portugal matched their record of nine wins in 10 matches.

Switzerland were the first team to face Portugal after they had won Euro 2016. They beat them 2-0 in Basel to get their qualifying bid off to a flying start. However, a 2-0 defeat in the return fixture in the final round left them in second place, facing a play-off against Northern Ireland.

They beat Michael O’Neill’s side 1-0 on aggregate, courtesy of a controversial penalty in the first leg at Windsor Park. They survived a nervy finish in Basel to book their trip to Russia. The two matches highlighted both the strengths and the limitations of Petkovic’s line-up.

Switzerland World Cup – Key Players

Defensively they are sound, keeping their eighth clean sheet in 10 matches in the goalless draw in the second leg. Captain Stephan Lichtsteiner provides great experience at right back, while the Milan full-back Ricardo Rodriguez has been capped 50 times on the opposite flank. Fabian Schar and the young Basel centre back Manuel Akanji should complete the back four.

Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka adds to the solidity from his holding midfield role, while Xherdan Shaqiri, scorer of a World Cup hat-trick against Honduras in 2014, brings creativity and a goal threat when he’s on song. What they lack, however, is a top class goalscorer.

Haris Seferovic, the Benfica striker, missed a host of chances against Northern Ireland that could have eased his country’s nerves in the closing stages, yet in spite of a mediocre record for club and country he remains Petkovic’s first choice. Breel Embolo, the raw, powerful 20-year-old from Schalke, is the great hope for the future but lacks experience and may have to wait for his chance.

Switzerland have played in 10 previous World Cups, qualifying from the group stage on six occasions but never going further than the quarter-finals. They reached the last 16 in Brazil before losing 1-0 to eventual runners-up Argentina after extra-time.

At the European Championships they have only once been beyond the group stage, qualifying unbeaten from France’s group in 2016 before losing on penalties to Poland in the first knockout stage.

2018 Switzerland World Cup Betting Odds

Event Selection Best Odds Brand
2018 World Cup Switzerland Win 100/1* ladbrokes logo
2018 World Cup Switzerland Win 80/1*  Sporting Bet Logo
2018 World Cup Switzerland Win 80/1* Unibet logo

*Odds at the time of writing. Subject to change.