Euro 2012 qualifier preview: England v Switzerland

England will look to move further ahead at the top of Group G and preserve a 64-year-old record when they host Switzerland on Saturday.England are level with Montenegro on 10 points at the top of the group ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifier at Wembley, and have not lost to Switzerland since 1947.

With Montenegro at home to Bulgaria later on Saturday, England will be hoping Lothar Matthaeus’ side will be able to do some damage against their hosts, who have been the surprise packet of the campaign so far.

England have been almost flawless so far in qualifying, with three wins from four games.

The only points they have dropped came in a 0-0 draw with Montenegro at Wembley last October.

Switzerland – coached by German manager Ottmar Hitzfeld – have been far less impressive, with one win, one draw and two defeats seeing them lie a distant third in Group G on four points.

The last time the two sides met, England enjoyed a comfortable 3-1 win in Basel courtesy of goals from Wayne Rooney, Adam Johnson and Darren Bent. Switzerland finished the match with 10 men when defender Stephan Lichtsteiner was sent off for a second caution.

In their most recent outings, England cruised to a 2-0 away win over Wales in March as Switzerland were held to a 0-0 draw in Bulgaria.

England boss Fabio Capello has selection concerns ahead of the clash, with Wayne Rooney out through suspension and Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick and Spurs striker Jermain Defoe missing through injury.

Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale is also out through injury and was replaced in the squad by Robert Green, with Manchester City’s Joe Hart certain to start in goal.

Hitzfeld selected a youthful squad for the match after the recent retirements of senior players Alex Frei and Marco Streller, with defender Stephane Grichting the only player older than 30.

 


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