Preview: Kosovo vs. Switzerland

Preview: Kosovo vs. Switzerland

Switzerland will be looking to maintain their position at the top of Group I in Euro 2024 qualifying when they travel to the Fadil Vokrri Stadium to face Kosovo on Saturday night.

While the hosts are unbeaten from their opening four fixtures, the visitors are still searching for their first victory.

After narrowly missing out on reaching Euro 2020 in their inaugural qualification campaign, losing to North Macedonia in the playoff semi-finals, Kosovo have since made a slow start in Euro 2024 qualifying, picking up just three points from their first four fixtures.

Kosovo drew two friendly matches before playing out three successive draws against Israel, Andorra and Romania in Group I, but their five-game drawing streak was brought to an end in their most recent qualifier in June when they suffered a 2-1 away defeat to Belarus.

Vedat Muriqi’s 87th-minute penalty proved inconsequential as two earlier strikes in the space of three second-half minutes from Vladislav Morozov and Max Ebong ultimately secured the three points for Belarus, with Kosovo manager Alain Giresse left with plenty to ponder after his side dominated the contest for large spells.

The Dardanians, who are ranked 109th in the world by FIFA, arguably face their toughest test yet in Group I against Switzerland on Saturday, although they managed to play out a 1-1 draw in their only previous meeting with the Swiss in March 2022.

Kosovo have certainly preferred playing on home soil in recent months as they have only lost one of their last eight home internationals since the beginning of 2022, while they have won just one of their last six fixtures on the road in the same period.

Bidding to qualify for their third successive European Championships, Switzerland have put themselves in the driving seat to top Group I as they currently sit at the summit with 10 points after four matches.

The Rossocrociati won their opening three qualifiers against Belarus, Israel and Andorra by an aggregate score of 10-1, but their 100% record in Group I was brought to an end in June wen they were forced to settle for a 2-2 home draw with Romania.

Switzerland appeared to be on course to claim all three points courtesy of strikes either side of half time from Zeki Amdouni, but goals in the 89th and 92nd minutes from Valentin Mihaila rescued a point for Romania in dramatic fashion.

Head coach Murat Yakin has stated that his side are now facing “two groundbreaking games” in their quest to top Group I and has insisted that they must have “100% focus” if they are to avoid any slip-ups and book their place in the finals in Germany.

Ranked 13th in the world by FIFA, Switzerland – who have only lost two of their last 10 away matches in Euro qualifying – will fancy their chances of claiming maximum points from their upcoming fixtures against Kosovo and Andorra, who are both ranked outside the top 100.

Kosovo Euro Champ Qualifying form:

Kosovo form (all competitions):

Switzerland Euro Champ Qualifying form:

Switzerland form (all competitions):

We say: Kosovo 0-2 Switzerland
Kosovo have shown that they can frustrate opponents so far in Group I and they will hope to do the same on Saturday as they search for their first three points in qualifying.

However, we are predicting Switzerland to come out on top as they boast a much stronger squad, on paper, that should have the quality to break down Kosovo’s backline.

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