Switzerland Team - 2014 World Cup Betting
Best Finish: Quarterfinals, 1934, 1938 and 1954
Manager: Ottmar Hitzfeld
Captain: G?khan Inler
Key Player: Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern Munich)
Group E: With Ecuador, France and Honduras
Switzerland is a team on many people's hot list right now after they burst into the top 10 of FIFA's rankings. They took full advantage of a pretty weak UEFA Group E, going undefeated in qualifiers with a 7-3-0 (W-D-L) record. This helped them easily outdistance second-place Iceland (5-2-3) for the group's lone automatic qualifying spot.
Despite coming into the 2014 World Cup with a lofty number-eight FIFA ranking, Switzerland appears to be somewhat of an unknown entity. For starters, they're a young team looking to prove that they truly belong with the giants. Additionally, there are question marks surrounding where their goal scoring will come from. Fabian Sch?r was their top scorer in UEFA play as he found the net three times in 10 matches. But given that Sch?r is a 22-year-old center back, the Swiss would do well to find a more traditional threat.
Xherdan Shaqiri, who's also 22, could provide some consistent goal output for the "Schweizer Nati" in Brazil. The midfielder scored two goals during qualifiers and is quick enough to beat his man to the inside and get good shots off. Shaqiri is also ahead of his years when it comes to passing and shows an excellent ability to find his teammates for assists.
G?khan Inler plays alongside Shaqiri in the middle of the pitch. The 29-year-old captain of Switzerland will be critical in bringing leadership and experience to this young team. Inler scored two goals in the qualifying rounds, so he's also a threat to find the net from the midfield.
As we discussed earlier, the Swiss will remain mysterious until the 2014 World Cup starts. Based on their ranking alone, they have an excellent shot at making it to the knockout stage. But their lack of a proven striker could hurt them in tight matches. This being said, somebody must emerge as a scorer in order for the Schweizer Nati to go far in the Cup.