Wales and Switzerland get their Euro 2020 campaigns underway in Saturday’s early afternoon kick-off, and The Dragons will be looking to repeat their heroics of five years ago.
At only their second ever major tournament, Gareth Bale led his nation to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 – memorably dispatching Belgium on their way.
The Swiss, on the other hand, will be looking for anything but a repeat of their most recent major tournament appearances.
Die Nati haven’t progressed beyond the Round of 16 at either the World Cup or European Championships since hosting the former in 1954 – appearing at 11 iterations of the competitions since then.
Vladimir Petković’s side head into this one in stellar form, having won five on the trot in 2021, though their most impressive competitive victory came against 54th-ranked side Finland.
Delve a little deeper and the Swiss have struggled against this level of competition – failing to win any of the five Nations League A games they played against Germany, Spain, and the Ukraine.
The form of their opponents has been somewhat indifferent too. Despite Wales topping their Nations League B group, conceding just one goal in six games, they were dismantled by Belgium in their World Cup qualifiers and soundly beaten by both England and France in friendlies.
Ryan Giggs’ side haven’t scored more than once in any of their last six matches, and top scorer Gareth Bale’s goals drying up might have something to do with it.
Despite scoring 10 goals in eight starts since the end of February for club side Tottenham Hotspur, Bale hasn’t scored for his country since October 2019. He has, however, contributed four assists in his last four competitive starts.
Man in the Middle
In charge of this encounter is Clement Turpin and, while he sounds like he might be about to hijack your horse and carriage, he’ll stand for no funny business.
Despite averaging a meagre 3.21 yellow cards per game this season, he’s shown 13 red cards and awarded 10 penalties in just 18 Ligue 1 appearances.
Most recently he was the referee of the Europa League final between Manchester United and Villarreal, dishing out just three cards inside 90 minutes.
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The Bet Builder
Given the nature of both of these sides, and the fact this is their opening match of a major tournament, I’m struggling to see past anything but a low-scoring draw.
Wales have seen Under 2.5 Goals in 10 of their last 12 meaningful games, whilst Switzerland have seen the same in nine of their last 11 that weren’t against Gibraltar.
I’ll also be adding Gareth Bale to attempt 3+ shots to this BetBuilder. His international goal drought hasn’t been for want of trying – given he’s attempted 45 shots in the last 15 games he’s started for his country.
Back Match Result: Draw, Under 2.5 Goals and Gareth Bale Over 2.5 Shots at 6/1 with bet365.