A look at what England can expect from quarter-final opponents Switzerland

England will play Switzerland in the quarter-finals of Euro 2024 in Dusseldorf on Saturday.

Switzerland stunned defending champions Italy 2-0 in their last 16 tie in a result which demonstrates the danger they will pose to Gareth Southgate’s side.

Here, the PA news agency looks at what England can expect next weekend.

Key players

Switzerland v Italy – UEFA Euro 2024 – Round of 16 – Olympiastadion

Former Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka is the focal point of an experienced team. The 31-year-old, who has just helped Bayer Leverkusen to a remarkable league and cup double in Germany, has 129 caps for his country.

Manchester City defender Manuel Akanji is the key man at the back, with their defensive unit also including Newcastle’s Fabian Schar and veteran Ricardo Rodriguez.

Former Liverpool man Xherdan Shaqiri is now of the Chicago Fire but remains a potent threat up front, while Ruben Vargas caught the eye with a fine goal against Italy.

Switzerland have netted seven goals through seven different scorers so far.


Switzerland v Italy – UEFA Euro 2024 – Round of 16 – Olympiastadion
Murat Yakin played 49 times for Switzerland (Nick Potts/PA)

Murat Yakin won 49 caps for Switzerland between 1994 and 2004, while his club career included stops at Grasshoppers, Stuttgart, Fenerbahce, Kaiserslautern and two spells with his hometown club of Basel.

The former defender once described Basel’s Champions League second leg qualifier against Celtic in 2002 as “the match of his life”, with Yakin on the scoresheet as the Swiss club advanced on away goals.

The 49-year-old’s coaching career has included time with Basel, Spartak Moscow, Grasshoppers and Sion amongst others, and he took the Switzerland job in 2021.

He took Switzerland to the 2022 World Cup, where they reached the round of 16 before suffering a 6-1 defeat against Portugal.


Switzerland v Italy – UEFA Euro 2024 – Round of 16 – Olympiastadion
Switzerland celebrated a 2-0 win over Italy in the last 16 (Nick Potts/PA)

Switzerland opened the tournament with a 3-1 win over Hungary thanks to goals from Kwadwo Duah, Michel Aebischer and substitute Breel Embolo.

They were frustrated in a 1-1 draw against Scotland but were close to a superb win over hosts Germany in the final group game before Niclas Fullkrug’s stoppage-time equaliser made it 1-1 and saw Switzerland advance as the second-placed side.

But the highlight so far was unquestionably the win over Italy as Switzerland controlled the match, dominating possession and scoring either side of half-time to reach the quarter-final stage of a European Championship for only the second time.


Switzerland v Italy – UEFA Euro 2024 – Round of 16 – Olympiastadion
Manchester City’s Manuel Akanji has anchored a three-man defence for most of the tournament so far (Nick Potts/PA)

Yakin has regularly changed shape during his time in charge of Switzerland. Although his most common formation is 4-2-3-1, he has been using a back three in Germany with Akanji in a central role and Xhaka alongside Remo Freuler in a midfield pivot.

Switzerland have plenty of experienced talent going forward, and are adept at using quick transitions and counter-attacks to catch out their opposition – often proving more dangerous in matches where they have less of the ball.

Akanji and Nico Elvedi also make them dangerous from set-pieces.