England will edge it

England host Switzerland at the King Power Stadium in Leicester. It’s an international friendly, but the Swiss are no chumps, and it will be a good opportunity for both to test out players who are edging for minutes against decent opposition.

International friendlies can be a bit of bore we all have to admit. But they do serve an important purpose, and that’s to give youth and fringe players valuable minutes and to explore tactical options. I’m just glad that there’s going to be less friendlies on the horizon with the onset of the Nations League.

The FA has got it right in selecting a decent side like Switzerland

With the Nations League we’re going to have more competitive football, more frequently in the international calendar. That will have a positive impact on England, as this young side needs games against top opposition. I welcome this friendly and the FA has got it right in selecting a decent side like Switzerland.

Kane & co. to be dropped

It’s no surprise then that captain Harry Kane is going to be dropped for this match, and manager Gareth Southgate wants to handle overworked Harry careful. We’ll also see potential starts for the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek who impressed in the summer, as well as Danny Welbeck who had a goal disallowed in the last minute against Spain on Saturday. Eric Dier looks set to get the captain’s armband who should provide solidity in central midfield.

England have enough quality in their ranks

Summer vibes not over yet

Some have been touting the fact that England have suffered three defeats in a row for the first time since Euro 88. A loss against Switzerland will be the first time England have ever lost four games in a row. I don’t think that will happen though, even with the proposed changes. England have enough quality in their ranks, and Switzerland are bound to make changes also.

Gareth Southgate has talked about the importance of not letting the feel-good summer in Russia slip away, and I don’t think he’ll allow it to either.

England vs. Switzerland head to head

  • Euro 2014 QF: (W) England 2-0 Switzerland (Sept 2014)
  • Euro 2014 QF: (W) Switzerland 0-2 England (Sept 2015)
  • Euro 2012 QF: (D) England 2-2 Switzerland (June 2011)
  • Euro 2012 QF: (W) Switzerland 1-3 England (Sept 2010)

The big Swiss cheeses

Liverpool attacker and Switzerland’s main man in Russia Xherdan Shaqiri is unclear about whether he will be starting, although he is likely to play a diminished role in a friendly match. He was key in their 6-0 UEFA Nations League demolition of Iceland. Likewise, other key players such as Granit Xhaka and Stephan Lichtsteiner could feature, but it's unlikely all will finish 90 minutes

Match Tip

International friendlies are always difficult to call with the shifts in starting lineups, as well as the inability to gauge how up for it the players actually are when it’s a non-competitive fixture. I believe England’s second stringers have both the quality and the desire to earn a win, and a home crowd at Leicester should egg them on.

An England win seems likely for me, but with a friendly it’s harder to call. That’s why I’ve gone for an England win with a draw no bet. I’m willing to take a slight dip in the odds to have a bit more security for this match.

The bookies are fairly even on this but I’ve found the best odds with Ladbrokes for an England win (draw no bet) at 1/3 (1.33).

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