In order to significantly improve the starting position in the duel with Italy for first place in World Cup qualifying group C, the national team against Lithuania needs as many goals as possible in addition to the win.
The dominant appearance in the 2-0 success against Northern Ireland on Saturday confirmed the Swiss national team that they can continue to fulfill mandatory tasks – as in the era of Vladimir Petkovic. And above all: That she is back on track in the long-distance duel for group victory with Italy. With a win in Lithuania, the team of coach Murat Yakin would catch up with the European champions in the group C table.
Too tight victories
But the path the undefeated Swiss have made through this qualification so far has a flaw. They score too few goals, so their victories are too low. At 3-1 in Bulgaria, at 1-0 at home against Lithuania and most recently at 2-0 against decimated Northern Ireland, clear victories would have been possible.
“It would be a shame if we missed the group win and thus the direct qualification because of a goal,” said striker Breel Embolo in a critical analysis in March after the opening game in Bulgaria.
Follow the away game of the Swiss national team against Lithuania on Tuesday evening from 8:10 p.m. live on SRF Zwei and in the Sport App.
Italy celebrated a runaway victory
In the end, in a FIFA competition, if there is a tie, the goal difference and not the direct encounter decides on the ranking. Since Switzerland is six goals worse off against Italy, they would need more points than the Italians in the final accounts for group victory and direct qualification. A win in the away game in Rome on November 12th would be a must.
Possible Swiss line-up
Summer; Widmer, Schär, Elvedi, Rodriguez; Freuler, Sow; Fassnacht, Shaqiri, Zuber; Embolo.
Unless the Swiss press the gas against Lithuania and do what the Italians did against this opponent about a month ago. The European champion dealt with the Fifa number 137 with 5: 0. Most of the Italians’ margin on Switzerland comes from this game.
Bad memories of 2017
The Swiss are burned children when it comes to this topic. In the 2017 World Cup qualification, they won nine out of ten games, but only finished second in the group because the Portuguese tied for points had a goal difference that was twelve goals higher. The Swiss had to fight for participation in the World Cup in Russia in the playoffs against Northern Ireland.