With just one loss since the conclusion of the 2016 Euro, Switzerland enters the 2018 FIFA World Cup as one of the hottest squads in the tournament. This year will mark Switzerland’s fourth straight appearance at the World Cup and 10th overall trip to the tournament since 1934.
La Nati have advanced to the Round of 16 in three of their past four World Cup appearances, falling just short of a berth in the quarterfinals four years ago with a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Argentina in extra time. The Swiss suffered a similar fate at Euro 2016, going undefeated during group stage action before getting bounced by Poland by a 5-4 margin on penalties in the Round of 16.
Switzerland’s Odds to Win World Cup: +8000
Switzerland’s strong performance at Euro 2016, combined with an impressive UEFA World Cup qualifying campaign, has vaulted them from No. 12 to No. 6 on the FIFA World Ranking.
The Swiss were less fortunate at the World Cup draw and will face stiff competition in Group E action, particularly from tournament co-favorite Brazil. However, those circumstances have left La Nati with +8000 odds in World Cup betting, making them one of the most intriguing dark-horse options at Russia 2018.
Switzerland’s Odds to Win Group E: +600
Not surprisingly, Switzerland sits well back of Brazil, which is perched as a heavy -400 favorite to win Group E. Pegged as a +600 bet to finish atop the group table, the Swiss have produced respectable results against the five-time World Cup champions, going 1-1-1 in three all-time meetings, capped by a 1-0 win in their last meeting five years ago.
However, Switzerland’s group stage success will likely hinge on its performance against Serbia and Costa Rica. The Swiss have never faced the Serbians, who are listed at +800 on the Group E odds and earned their first World Cup berth since 2010 with an impressive World Cup qualifying run during which they suffered just one defeat.
In addition, the Swiss cannot take Costa Rica lightly. Listed as +1600 long shots on the odds to win Group E, the Ticos have struggled in recent friendlies, but rose to the occasion during CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, posting a pair of clean-sheet wins over the United States.
Switzerland’s Best World Cup Bets
While a second-place finish in Group E is widely expected from Switzerland, the club can improve its chances of a deep knockout stage run with a strong performance in its tournament-Sportsbook matchup with Brazil. Switzerland has opened as a distant +850 underdog on the game line odds in that contest. But after keeping clean sheets in 10 of their past 13 outings, the Swiss have proven they can compete in low-scoring affairs, improving the appeal of a wager on a draw with Brazil, which pays out at +410.
A strong group stage finish will also improve Switzerland’s chances of getting past the Round of 16 for the first time since 1954. The odds of the Swiss getting eliminated in the quarterfinals sits at +600, while a successful wager on Switzerland getting bounced in the World Cup semifinals sits at +2000.
Switzerland’s Players to Watch: Haris Seferovic, Yann Sommer, Roman Buerki
Offensive production for Switzerland was a team effort during UEFA World Cup qualifying, with Haris Seferovic leading the way with four goals and adding three assists in 12 appearances. However, the 26-year-old has struggled during his first season with Benfica, scoring just once in 30 outings after Sportsbook the season with three goals in three matches.
Switzerland’s real strength could be in goal, where a pair of Bundesliga netminders will battle it out for the starter’s job. Yann Sommer has been a steady presence in the crease for Borussia Mönchengladbach this season, and has not allowed a goal in his past five appearances with the Swiss national side.
The play of goalkeeper Roman Buerki has played a role in Borussia Dortmund’s climb above the line on the Bundesliga table this season. The 27-year-old has surrendered more than one goal just three times in his past 14 league contests, and has emerged as Sommer’s chief rival despite making just one appearance with the national side during World Cup qualifying.
Switzerland’s Road to Russia
Switzerland exceeded expectations during an impressive run through UEFA World Cup qualifying. La Nati powered to the top of the Group B table while recording nine straight victories. A 2-0 loss to Portugal in their qualification finale cost the Swiss first place in Group B, and forced the club to clinch a World Cup berth with a 1-0 aggregate win over Northern Ireland in second-round action. However, Switzerland was among the stingiest teams in qualification action, surrendering just seven total goals over 12 matches.
|1||Yann Sommer||GK||Borussia Mönchengladbach||35|
|12||Yvon Mvogo||GK||RB Leipzig||0|
|21||Roman Bürki||GK||Borussia Dortmund||9|
|4||Nico Elvedi||DEF||Borussia Mönchengladbach||6|
|5||Manuel Akanji||DEF||Borussia Dortmund||7|
|6||Michael Lang||DEF||FC Basel||24|
|22||Fabian Schär||DEF||Deportivo La Coruña||39|
|16||Gelson Fernandes||MID||Eintracht Frankfurt||67|
|17||Denis Zakaria||MID||Borussia Mönchengladbach||10|
|18||Mario Gavranovic||FWD||Dinamo Zagreb||14|
|19||Josip Drmic||FWD||Borussia Mönchengladbach||29|
|23||Xherdan Shaqiri||FWD||Stoke City||70|