The quarter-finals at Euro 2020 get underway this evening with an intriguing clash in Saint Petersburg.
Both Switzerland and Spain triumphed in truly epic last-16 encounters on Monday, with the Swiss dumping out tournament favourites France on penalties after an exhilarating 3-3 draw in Bucharest.
It was an enormous upset sprung by Vladimir Petkovic’s side, who only reached the knockout stages as one of the four best third-place group finishers.
However, Granit Xhaka’s yellow card in that game – his second of the tournament so far- means that the influential Swiss captain is suspended tonight.
Switzerland’s stunning defeat of France came just hours after another Euros classic in Copenhagen, where Spain recovered from a calamitous own goal and late collapse to triumph over 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia.
Alvaro Morata and Mikel Oyarzabal both struck in extra time to settle an eight-goal thriller in favour of Luis Enrique’s side, who finished as runners-up behind Sweden in Group E.
Either Italy or Belgium will await the winners of this tie in the semi-finals at Wembley on Tuesday night.
Follow Switzerland vs Spain at Euro 2020 LIVE with Standard Sport’s blog below!
Freuler ready for Busquets battle
Switzerland midfielder Remo Freuler is ready to do battle with Sergio Busquets this evening.
Freuler will have extra responsibility against Spain without the suspended Granit Xhaka alongside him in the Swiss midfield.
Asked about Busquets, Freuler, who scored against Spain in the Nations League last autumn said: “I’ve played against him before – I even scored in the last game against him so I’ve got good memories of playing him.
“He’s a great player, but I’m looking forward to the battle.”
Spain predicted lineup
And here’s how we think Spain will shape up in Saint Petersburg, with Jordi Alba replacing Valencia’s Jose Gaya in the only change from the win over Croatia.
Spain XI (4-3-3): Unai Simon; Azpilicueta, Eric Garcia, Laporte, Jordi Alba; Koke, Busquets, Pedri; Sarabia, Morata, Ferran Torres
Switzerland predicted lineup
Here’s how Standard Sport expects Switzerland to line up this evening.
The predicted XI shows one change from the side that stunned France, with Zakaria in for the suspended Xhaka in midfield as mentioned…
Switzerland XI (3-5-2): Sommer; Elvedi, Akanji, Rodriguez; Widmer, Freuler, Zakaria, Zuber; Shaqiri; Embolo, Seferovic
Standard Sport prediction
The absence of Xhaka is huge for Switzerland and likely to be crucial to the final result.
The Arsenal midfielder has been influential throughout the tournament and Spain are firm favourites, if they weren’t already, with him ruled out.
Spain have found their scoring touch, but are still so weak at the back. Expecting goals in this one.
Spain team news: Jordi Alba could return
As for Spain, Barcelona stalwart Jordi Alba is expected to return after being left out of the win over Croatia.
La Roja boss Luis Enrique does like to switch things up, even after scoring five goals, but could resist that temptation here.
Switzerland team news: Xhaka suspended
Switzerland will be without suspended captain Granit Xhaka tonight after the Arsenal midfielder received his second booking of the tournament against France.
Borussia Monchengladbach’s Denis Zakaria should come into the team in his place, with Liverpool playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri donning the skipper’s armband.
How to watch Switzerland vs Spain
TV channel: Tonight’s match will be televised live on ITV for free.
Live stream: UK viewers will also be able to watch the action unfold online via the ITV Hub.
Date, time and venue
Switzerland vs Spain is scheduled for a 5pm BST kick-off today – Friday, July 2, 2021.
The match will be held at Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Welcome to Switzerland vs Spain LIVE coverage
Good afternoon and welcome to Standard Sport’s latest LIVE coverage of Euro 2020 as the quarter-finals get underway.
There’s a heavyweight collision between Italy and Belgium to come in Munich later tonight, but first up it’s off to Russia, where Switzerland and Spain do battle in Saint Petersburg.
The Swiss stunned France on penalties in the round of 16 to reach the last eight for the very first time, while Spain outlasted Croatia in an eight-goal extra-time classic.
Either Italy or Belgium will await the winners of this tie in Tuesday’s semi-final at Wembley!
Stay tuned for all the latest build-up, team news and live updates…