World Cup Soccer: Switzerland vs. France

World Cup Soccer:  Switzerland vs. France

Group E action on Friday as the top two teams in the group face off. Both teams won their first game with France easily handling Honduras in a 3-0 win while Switzerland looked unimpressive at times against Ecuador but eventually recovered for a 2-1 victory.

This game is on paper a very good matchup but might not live up to expectations due to the fact that both teams are almost certain to advance no matter what the result here. As far as intrinsic motivation Switzerland might have the edge to re-establish their defensive swagger after allowing an opening game score. That wouldn’t be a big deal to most teams but prior to the Ecuador contest Switzerland had allowed only 1 goal in their last 7 World Cup games. Pound for pound Switzerland may have the best defense of any team in the World Cup draw and with advancement to the knockout stage all but assured that might be their priority here.

Likewise, France might be content to let Switzerland play their game. The French are in a very enviable position as they not only have a win under their belt but that three goal victory gives them a nice goal differential as well. That is the primary tiebreaker in the group stage and a nice thing to have working in your favor. Switzerland also has to be mindful of the goal differential and should they fall behind might not want to press the attack for the tying goal lest they get caught with a French counter.

Overall, I think Switzerland may be a bit underrated due to their less than stellar opening game performance. This game is a coin flip in my view with a draw also a distinct possibility. Still, it’s hard to pass up getting such a hefty price on a very good Switzerland team. Several ways to play this–taking Switzerland on the handicap line +1/2 +105 covers the draw but we’ll go for the big payout and back Switzerland to win. This game is almost certain to be a low scoring, tactical affair which will also have us on the ‘Under’. If you have access to a European book with a larger number of soccer props playing the 1-0 Swiss win +1100 is also attractive.