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Switzerland - Germany Preview: Joachim Low expected to test youngsters ahead of Euro 2012
Xherdan Shaqiri could face off with a number of his future team-mates at St Jakob-Park as the World Cup semi-finalists gear up for next month's bid for continental glory
By Enis Koylu
Lichtsteiner, Senderos, Djourou, Ziegler
Shaqiri, Xhaka, Barnetta
Howedes, M'sacker, Hummels, Schmelzer
Draxler, Ozil, Podolski
The main talking points in the Switzerland line-up will inevitably be Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri, who will be playing for Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayern Munich respectively next season. Both should slot in alongside Bayer Leverkusen winger Tranquillo Barnetta in an attacking midfield triumvirate, behind Hoffenheim-bound forward Eren Derdiyok.
Valon Behrami has not been called up, leaving Blerim Dzemaili to play alongside his Napoli team-mate Gokhan Inler in midfield.
Having only recently joined the Germany squad, Joachim Low's Bayern contingent will likely start from the bench as the trainer looks to test some of his fringe players.
Tim Wiese is expected to get the nod in goal, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen could be given a first cap for the senior side, Benedikt Howedes and Marcel Schmelzer will occupy the full-back positions, with Per Mertesacker and Mats Hummels set to compete directly for a starting berth in central defence alongside Holger Badstuber in the Euro 2012 finals.
Ilkay Gundogan has impressed in training and is tipped to start alongside Sami Khedira in midfield, while Julian Draxler is anticipated to make his debut on the right wing. Fans can expect many changes at half-time as Low brings in more first-team players.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Switzerland quintet Diego Benaglio, Francois Affolter, Ricardo Rodriguez, Tranquillo Barnetta and Eren Derdiyok all ply their trades in Germany's Bundesliga.
- Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld won a total of seven Bundesliga titles as a coach at both Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.
- Xherdan Shaqiri has scored four goals in his nation's last six games.
- Germany's first-ever international match was a 5-3 loss to Switzerland in 1908 - in Basel. Meanwhile, the first Germany matches after World War I, World War II, and the reunification of the country all took place against the Swiss.
- If selected, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Julian Draxler (pictured right) will be making their Germany debuts.
- Mesut Ozil amassed seven assists in qualifying for Euro 2012, the joint highest along with Sweden's Kim Kallstrom.
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Top 3 Predictions
Switzerland 0-3 Germany
- 19.28 %
Switzerland 1-3 Germany
- 13.6 %
Switzerland 0-2 Germany
- 10.41 %
|International Friendlies (FR)||May 26, 2012||Switzerland 5 - Germany 3|
|International Friendlies (FR)||Mar 26, 2008||Switzerland 0 - Germany 4|
|International Friendlies (FR)||Feb 7, 2007||Germany 3 - Switzerland 1|
|Mar 23, 2013||Cyprus 0 - Switzerland 0||WCQ|
|Feb 6, 2013||Greece 0 - Switzerland 0||FR|
|Nov 14, 2012||Tunisia 1 - Switzerland 2||FR|
|Oct 16, 2012||Iceland 0 - Switzerland 2||WCQ|
|Oct 12, 2012||Switzerland 1 - Norway 1||WCQ|
|Returns:||Switzerland £43.30||Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Returns:||Draw £210.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Germany £410.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|5||Steve von Bergen||Defender|
|-||Marc-Andre ter Stegen|
There are few talents in world football more precocious and promising than Xherdan Shaqiri. Having won himself a big move to Bayern Munich, he will be eager to give a German audience a glimpse of his capabilities, and fire a warning shot to Joachim Low's contingent of Borussia Dortmund players. By the end of Saturday's game, the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Manuel Neuer could be delighted that they'll be lining up alongside Shaqiri, rather than against him.
The thought of Germany going into a major tournament without Miroslav Klose leading their front line just does not seem right. The Lazio forward has had a glittering career on the big stage to date, and currently stands in second place in the list of all-time World Cup goal-scorers. He proved his fitness at the tail end of the season, and could surpass Gerd Muller's Germany goal-scoring record, should he find the target a further six times.
Germany are a decidedly better outfit that their Swiss counterparts, but there are still some holes questions to be answered. During February's friendly against France, they showcased some seriously below-par defending, an issue they will need to work on if they are to be victorious in Ukraine and Poland next month. However, Switzerland fared disappointingly in qualfying for Euro 2012, and despite having up-and-coming stars such as Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka, I can't see the hosts pulling off a shock here.
Times In GMT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed