Euro 2020 team profile: Group A – Turkey and Switzerland

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turkey national football team

Head coach: Şenol Guneş (Turk)

Captain: Burak Yilmaz

Most capped player: Rüştü Reçber (120)

Top scorer: Hakan Şükür (51)

FIFA ranking: 29

European Championship appearances: 5 (first in 1996)

Best run: Semi final (2008)

Group Rivals: Italy, Switzerland, and Wales.

Key players: Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Çağlar Söyüncü, Burak Yilmaz, Cengiz Ünder, Írfan Kahveci, Cenk Tosun.

Status: Turkey’s reputation waned drastically after the golden generation 2002 (World Cup bronze winners) and 2008 Euros semi-finalists led by Tuncay Şanli.

However, they have found some sort of consistency under new head coach Şenol Guneş and their passage to this year’s European Championship was never in doubt.

They have become formidable and can pass for a dark horse to win group A or finish in second place. I just believe they have what it takes to make it to the knockout stages.

 Verdict: Expect them to finish top or second or third at least.

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switzerland national football team

Head coach: Vladimir Petković (Bosnian)

Captain: Granit Xhaka

Most capped player: Heinz Hermann (118)

Top scorer: Alexander Frei (42)

European Championship appearances: 5 (first in 1996)

Best run: last 16 in 2016.

FIFA ranking: 13

Group A rivals: Italy, Turkey, and Wales.

Key players: Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka, Haris Seferović, Admir Mehmedi, Breel Embolo.

Status: Switzerland co-hosted the European Championship with Austria in 2008 and failed to make it out of the group stage in their third appearance in the Euros finals. However, a lot has changed since then.

Their progress has seen them make it to the round of 16 in the 2016 finals, their best run in the tournament. Under coach Petković, they have been a really solid side, churning out very admirable performances. 

One cannot bet against them pushing Italy hard in group A to make it to the knockout stages as group winners – they’re capable.

Verdict: I tip them to compete with Italy for the top spot in group A and make it to the knockout stages. I can’t say about their ability to progress further, but they are capable.