A rocky old acquaintance on the way to the last four

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La Roja returns to Zaragoza 19 years later to take on Switzerland to retain the lead in their Nations League group

The Spanish team returns to Zaragoza 19 years after its last visit, thus clearing a debt with the city of the Ebro In the Aragonese capital, the city that resisted Napoleon, where it has so far had three wins, a draw and a defeat achieved, La Roja plans to take an important step towards the final four of the League of Nations against Switzerland. It is an old acquaintance who is normally bowed down by the Spanish team, but who also often has a headache before giving up the place.

The clashes between Spain and Switzerland have become something of a regular encounter in recent years. La Roja and the Swiss team have met up to five times since 2018, with a balance of two Spanish wins and three draws, albeit always in very tight matches and with none of the opponents scoring more than one goal. The data offers a clear indication of where a match could go that, in the event of a win for Spain and a defeat for Portugal against the Czech Republic in Prague, would open the doors for the last four of the League of Nations for the second consecutive edition.

Basel’s 0-1 win in June with a goal from Sarabia is the latest precedent in a rivalry that very recently led to a dramatic penalty shootout at the multi-venue European Championship played in the summer of 2021. Further back in time, that stumbling block is in the World Cup debut in South Africa, Switzerland’s only win against the Spanish team in 24 games to date.

To beat Switzerland, but also to fine-tune the set-up for the World Cup, the ever-unpredictable Luis Enrique wants to leave nothing in reserve, with an eleven that could look a lot like the one that will face Costa Rica in the World Cup debut next 23 from Nov. In that comparison, and although Aymeric Laporte is absent this time due to injury, arguably the most solvent central defender in Spain today, Unai Simón remains the reference goalkeeper, with Carvajal, Eric García, Pau Torres and Jordi Alba serving as a hypothetical line of defense , a midfield made up of Gavi, Pedri and Busquets that excites locals and strangers, as well as an attacking trident made up of Ferran Torres, Morata and Sarabia that the coach himself recognized in the previous one as a likely choice.

The duel, beyond the competitive, has the potential international debuts of Nico Williams and Borja Iglesias as an incentive, even more special when it comes to the Galician striker, as he was a Zaragoza player in the 2017-18 season and the great taste in the mouth he left in La Romareda invites us to think that the party would be over if the Panda had minutes for what his hobby was. And it is that in the capital tomorrow a special atmosphere is being breathed these days with the visit of the national team, quite an event for a city that was once used to elite football, but which is now building a decade with its historic team in the silver category of football Spanish.

For its part, the Swiss team, led by Murat Yakin, remains a tough nut to crack. His classic mix of players of African descent, such as Embolo or Zakaria, and Kosovar Albanians, in the case of Shaqiri or Xhaka, didn’t get him off to a good start in a competition where his chances of reaching the decisive round are rather remote. . However, the surprise win over Portugal on the final day gives the Swiss a chance to battle the Czechs for the goal of avoiding relegation to League B in the League of Nations.

Source: La Verdad

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