Switzerland

FIFA ranking: 6

How they qualified: Beat Northern Ireland 1-0 on aggregate in the UEFA play-off

World Cup appearances: 10

Best result: Quarter-finals (1934, 1938, 1954)

Background

This will be Switzerland’s fourth consecutive World Cup, their best record since 1934 to 1954. La Nati reached the 2018 World Cup by defeating Northern Ireland 1-0 on aggregate in the European play off, after finishing second in group B behind Euro 2016 winners Portugal.

The Coach

Vladimir Petković

The Swiss coach, who was born in Bosnia, will be making his debut at the FIFA competition. He took charge of La Nati after the 2014 World Cup and has since led them to the last 16 at Euro 2016 and to a victory over Northern Ireland in the Russia 2018 play-offs.

Star Man

Granit Xhaka

Octavio Passos/Getty Images Sport

Switzerland’s player of the year for 2017, Xhaka is a key man in Vladimir Petkovic’s side. The Arsenal midfielder impressed at Brazil 2014 and will be out to make his mark on another World Cup.

Starting XI

World Cup Chances

Drawn in group E with 2014 hosts Brazil, 2014 quarter-finalists Costa Rica and Serbia, Switzerland will be expected to battle it out for second spot behind bookies’ favourites Brazil. While Switzerland reached the knockout stages at the last World Cup and have only lost one game in the 2018 qualifiers, the future is bright for Switzerland.

Transfer Watch

Dimitri Oberlin

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Dimitri Oberlin is proving to have all the potential for a great career. Therefore, it has come as no surprise that he’s wanted by multiple clubs in Europe, two of which are Italian. According to Calciomercato.com, Napoli have joined Juventus in the race for the Oberlin, having scouted the Basel striker in the U-21 meeting between Switzerland and Portugal. Oberlin joined Basel last summer on loan with an option to buy from RB Salzburg. Basel will have the opportunity to sign the striker for a whopping €5m, which opens the possibility for a great profit on the Swiss International, should they sell him this summer.