Switzerland vs. Italy Prediction: Defending Champions Face Tough Test

Written by: Greg Lea
Published June 28, 2024
6 min read
  • Switzerland came close to topping Group A but ultimately finished second

  • Italy needed a dramatic equalizer to secure second place in Group B

  • The winner of this tie will face England or Slovakia in the quarter-finals

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Switzerland vs. Italy Pick

Back Switzerland to beat Italy. The holders have not impressed at Euro 2024 so far and the Siss can take advantage in the round of 16.

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Switzerland vs Italy Euro 2024 Prediction

Italy Did Not Fire in the Group Stage and Must Improve

Italy qualified for the knockout stage of the 2024 European Soccer Championship in the most dramatic way possible. Trailing 1-0 to Croatia deep into second-half stoppage time on Monday, the Azzurri were heading for third place in Group A with a tally of three points and a -1 goal difference. As we later learned, that would not have been enough to make it through to the round of 16.

Enter Mattia Zaccagni. The second-half substitute curled home a brilliant equalizer with just seconds left on the clock. Italy thus salvaged a point, leapfrogging Croatia into second spot to qualify for the knockout phase. Zaccagni, a 29-year-old with only six caps to his name before Monday, was the unlikely hero.

Luciano Spalletti will be under no illusions, however. He knows better than anyone that Italy were mediocre at best in Group B. They only narrowly edged out Albania on matchday one, coming from behind to win 2-1. Italy were then thoroughly outplayed by Spain in a 1-0 loss, before looking short of ideas for much of the crunch clash with Croatia. 

Spalletti sprang a surprise ahead of matchday three, ditching his 4-3-3 formation and opting for a 3-5-2. Flexibility is an asset at times, but this switch did not really work and it betrayed the manager’s sense that he is not entirely happy with the tools at his disposal. This is certainly not a vintage Italy squad and Spalletti has been in charge of it for less than a year.

That does not mean the Azzurri cannot go far at this competition. They are on the easier side of the bracket, away from Germany, Portugal, France, and Spain. Italy’s players will look to draw strength from their compatriots’ past achievements at major tournaments. Still, the group stage produced more questions than answers as far as the holders are concerned.

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Switzerland Have Exceeded Expectations up to Now

Switzerland were seconds away from topping Group A of Euro 2024, with seven points to their name. Having beaten Hungary and drawn with Scotland, Murat Yakin’s team took the lead against Germany on matchday three. They held that advantage until second-half stoppage time, when Niclas Fullkrug spared the hosts’ blushes with a late equalizer. 

That goal may have actually been a blessing in disguise for Switzerland since it has put them on the kinder side of the bracket. Yakin will not be thinking any further ahead than this weekend’s tussle with Italy, though. And while his team head into that game as underdogs, the evidence of the event to date suggests Switzerland are more than capable of triumphing.

After a lackluster qualifying campaign, even Swiss supporters did not hold out much hope for this tournament. But the team made their mark from the get-go, dominating Hungary in an impressive 3-1 win on day two. They then battled hard in a 1-1 draw with Scotland, before coming close to beating Germany last Sunday.

Switzerland are a well-coached outfit. They employ a hybrid formation which sees them line up in a 3-4-2-1 formation without the ball and a 4-2-3-1 with it. Aebischer is the key man in that regard, moving infield from his left wing-back position when the Swiss have possession. The system has worked well so far.

There is also a good amount of tournament experience within Yakin’s team. Granit Xhaka, Remo Freuler, Manuel Akanji, Ricardo Rodriguez, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Yann Sommer have seen plenty on the international stage, not to mention during their club careers. Switzerland will not be fazed by the prospect of facing the defending kings of the continent in the round of 16.

The Knockout Stage Could Begin With a Surprise Result

This is the first match of the knockout stage of Euro 2024, with kick-off scheduled from 12.00 PM (ET) on Saturday. It might not look like the most exciting tie on paper, but it is one of the most difficult last-16 games to predict.

The best online sportsbooks favor Italy, but that is surely in part because they are the bigger name. Switzerland have looked the more cohesive team so far. Spalletti, for all his talents as a manager, is still getting to grips with this Italian group, as evidenced by his surprise switch to a 3-5-2 formation against Croatia.

Italy did not play particularly well in that game and they were completely outdone by Spain a few days earlier. Switzerland, on the other hand, impressed in the group stage. In fact, only Spain amassed more points across three games.

Switzerland are smooth in possession and difficult to break down when they sit in their defensive shape. Italy have shown relatively little in attack so far, which will pile the pressure on a backline that will have to make do without the suspended Riccardo Calafiori.

All things considered, it is worth tipping a Switzerland success at Berlin’s Olympiastadion on Saturday.

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How to Watch Switzerland vs Italy

  • Teams: Switzerland vs Italy

  • Location: Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany

  • Date and Time: Saturday, 29 June 2024 at 12.00 PM ET 

  • How to Watch: FS1


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Greg Lea

Soccer Betting Analyst

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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Politics
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