UEFA Nations League: Belgium vs Switzerland preview


Belgium are looking to extend their winning streak in all competitions to four matches when they host Switzerland at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels on Friday in the top tier of the UEFA Nations League. The two teams have last met in a friendly match in 2016, which Belgium won 2-1. Before that, the two nations clashed just four times in the 80s and another couple of times in the 60s, with mixed results. Overall, Belgium and Switzerland have collected three wins apiece from their seven direct matches, while their World Cup qualifying meeting back in 1989 ended in a 2-2 draw.

Belgium seem to have recovered well after the disappointment of the 1-0 defeat against France in the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, they won the third-place playoff against England and kicked off their UEFA Nations League campaign with a 3-0 victory in Iceland in September. Between those two matches they secured a comfortable 4-0 friendly victory over Scotland. Midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and defender Jan Vertonghen have not been called up for this match due to their injury problems, but all the other stars are there and in good form, including Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku.

Switzerland had a decent FIFA World Cup last summer, they managed to qualify undefeated from the group stage and then lost 1-0 to Sweden in the first knockout round. Their campaign in the top tier of the UEFA Nations League started with a comfortable 6-0 victory over Iceland, which means that they will have to battle Belgium for top spot in Group 2. After the triumph over Iceland the Swiss suffered a 1-0 friendly defeat against England, Marcus Rashford decided that game with a second-half goal. Right-back Michael Lang missed those last two matches through injury but now he's back in the squad and should make the starting eleven.

Probable line-ups:

Belgium: Courtois - Alderweireld, Kompany, Vermaelen - Meunier, Tielemans, Witsel, Carrasco - Mertens, Lukaku, Hazard

Switzerland: Sommer - Lang, Akanji, Schar, Rodriguez - Zakaria, Xhaka - Embolo, Shaqiri, Zuber - Seferovic

My prediction: Belgium to win 2-0, Switzerland have a solid side but Belgium are vastly superior.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Belgium win - 1.50
Draw - 4.60
Switzerland win - 7.00

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