Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Yakin: Switzerland knew they would ´destroy´ Italy after formation change

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Jun 2024

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Switzerland head coach Murat Yakin knew his team would “destroy” Italy in the last 16 at Euro 2024 when he saw the Azzurri had made a change of formation.

Switzerland are into the European Championship quarter-finals for just the second time after beating the defending champions 2-0 in Berlin, having also reached the last eight by claiming the scalp of France at Euro 2020.

Yakin’s team were good value for their victory, leading Italy for shots (13 to 11), shots on target (four to one), expected goals (1.3 to 0.78 xG) and touches in the penalty area (24 to 12).

Azzurri boss Luciano Spalletti made several changes to his starting lineup for the match, reverting to his usual 4-3-3 shape after employing a 3-5-2 versus Croatia in their last group game.

After that match – a 1-1 draw which saw Italy sneak through Group B in second place – Spalletti hit out at reports that his players had forced the change of system.

Yakin believes Italy’s revised setup played into the hands of his team on Saturday, telling SRF: “It’s unbelievable what’s going on here. We’ve enjoyed ourselves in every stadium. Big praise to the fans.

“I knew if the Italians came with a back four, we would destroy them. Then we would let them run.

“Dan [Ndoye] closed down the midfield. His man, [Stephan] El Shaarawy, hardly saw the ball.”

Switzerland will now face either England or Slovakia in the last eight next Saturday, as they bid to reach the semi-finals of a major tournament for the very first time.

Yakin has no preference regarding his team’s next opponent, saying: “You’d have to ask the fans if they prefer England or Slovakia.

“We won an important game, and that’s crucial. As for what happens tomorrow, and what comes after that, we’ll prepare well again for our next opponents.”

England face Slovakia in their last-16 tie on Sunday, with the Three Lions looking to reach the last eight at back-to-back editions of the Euros for the first time ever.

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