Two of the underdog stories from the previous Euro tournament will clash in their opening match of Euro 2020, as 2016 semi-finalists Wales take on Switzerland, who made the round of 16 in France.
While Italy is widely expected to win Group A, Switzerland will be competitive should they advance to the knockout stages, and Wales, as proven, can surprise any nation on the world stage.
Who will have the edge in Baku on Saturday? Find out in our Wales vs. Switzerland tips and predictions for June 12.
• Location: Baki Olimpiya Stadionu, Baku, Azerbaijan
• Date: Saturday, June 12, 2021
• Time: 9:00 a.m. ET
• TV: ESPN, TSN 1/3, CTV
Wales vs Switzerland betting tips
- Switzerland (+115)
- To be booked - Granit Xhaka (+175)
Read on for complete analysis
Wales vs Switzerland match odds
Over 2.5: +200
Under 2.5: -250
Odds as of June 8, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. ET.
Odds analysisBy Patrick Everson
BetMGM Nevada opened the first of today's three matches at Switzerland +125/Wales +240/Draw +190. As of 1 a.m. ET Saturday, a few hours prior to the 9 a.m. ET start, the Swiss are into +115, with Wales +275 and Draw +200. "Tickets are literally dead even on Switzerland and Wales, and Draw has about half the tickets of each team. Money is roughly 3/1 on Switzerland," BetMGM Nevada's Scott Shelton said. The total is at 2 (Under -130). "Tickets are 50/50, but there's five times more money on the Under."
Wales vs Switzerland betting preview
It will be a hot, humid day in Baku when Wales and Switzerland meet on Saturday. It will be a clear night when the two Group A sides kickoff, with temperatures expected around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, with 78 percent humidity and wind around 15 miles per hour.
Wales: No injuries to report.
Switzerland: No injuries to report.
|10 (Qualifying)||Goals For||19 (Qualifying)|
|6 (Qualifying)||Goals Against||6 (Qualifying)|
|2-0 W vs. Hungary (Qualifying)||Previous Game||6-1 W vs. Gibraltar (Qualifying)|
|Gareth Bale||Player to Watch||Xherdan Shaqiri|
Wales vs Switzerland predictions
Wales and Switzerland share a number of similarities. Both are reliant on flashy wingers in Gareth Bale and Xherdan Shaqiri, neither of whom have featured regularly at club level in recent years. Both teams can adjust their tactics depending on the opponent, with Switzerland's back three and high-playing wingbacks capable of becoming a more compact back five, while Wales can go between using a false nine or a more traditional target man in Kieffer Moore.
However, their approach differs considerably. Switzerland throws out their reputation of neutrality on the international stage, playing a modern game on the front foot. They press high up the pitch without the ball, with wingbacks providing the width. In possession, Switzerland builds out of the back, with primary outlets being either Granit Xhaka in midfield or the left center-back, Ricardo Rodriguez. Wales, on the other hand, look to soak up pressure and hit on the counter, with Bale and Dan James able to devastate teams on the break.
While Wales should be competitive with Switzerland, they will gladly sit back and hope Harry Wilson or Aaron Ramsey can find Bale or James to spark a counter. That will leave Shaqiri and Xhaka to try and break the Wales defense down. Switzerland did well playing on the front foot and being forced to break down compact defenses in Euro qualifying, averaging 2.4 goals per game and only being held out once.
If young striker Breel Embolo isn't trusted to start up top alongside Swiss staple Haris Seferovic, their attack could be stagnant out of the gate. However, there will be enough opportunities for Switzerland to break through and earn a result in their opening match.
PREDICTION: Switzerland (+115)
To be booked - Granit Xhaka
Though a talented and useful player in his own right, Granit Xhaka often appears as a parody of himself, putting in needlessly reckless tackles and giving up free kicks all over the pitch. Since coming to England from the Bundesliga, Xhaka has regularly resided near the top of the Premier League in yellow cards and fouls conceded, and has taken Phil Jones' crown as the king of comedic moments.
Fittingly, Xhaka has the lowest odds to be booked in Switzerland's opening match, at +175. However, we aren't just picking on Arsenal's punching bag here. Xhaka will be tasked with sitting deep and cycling possession when Switzerland have the ball but when Wales takes over, they will look to counter at a rapid pace. In that situation — especially with Wales' attackers situated more centrally than out wide — it will be on Xhaka to foul and stop the threat. Fouling when a team is on the counter, often, results in a yellow rather than just a warning.
Xhaka has been booked in every competition Switzerland has taken part in since he became a regular in the squad in 2014, whether it has been the World Cup, Euros, Nations League, or qualifiers. Against a Wales team that is threatening on the break, Xhaka will continue that streak.
PREDICTION: To be booked - Granit Xhaka (+175)
Picks made on 6/8/2021 at 6:45 p.m. ET
Euro 2020 betting sites
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