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EURO 2020

Switzerland v Spain: Free-scoring La Roja aiming to avoid upset

Spain have scored five goals in back-to-back games and now take on France's conquerors Switzerland in the quarter-finals.

Switzerland v Spain: Free-scoring La Roja aiming to avoid upset
OZAN KOSE AFP

Luis Enrique's free-scoring Spain will look to avoid the same fate as France when they take on European Championship quarter-final debutants Switzerland.

Switzerland pulled off one of the tournament's all-time greatest shocks by eliminating competition favourites France on penalties in the last 16 after a thrilling 3-3 draw.

La Roja were also involved in a game that saw six goals inside an eventful 90 minutes, before going on to beat Croatia 5-3 in extra time in another Euros classic.

Euro 2020 - Round of 16 - Croatia v SpainSoccer Football - Euro 2020 - Round of 16 - Croatia v Spain - Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark - June 28, 2021 Spain's Alvaro Morata celebrates scoring their fourth goal with Mikel Oyarzabal Pool via REUTERS/Stuart Franklin

In doing so, Spain became the first side in European Championship history to score five or more goals in successive games, having seen off Slovakia 5-0 in their final group match.

Ahead of Friday's showdown with Switzerland, Luis Enrique has vowed to stick to an attacking style of play.

"I'm ready for games like the one against Croatia if we have another – but I'm not sure if my family or the fans feel the same," he said.

"We won't play long ball, defensive football even if playing the way we do brings wild matches. We only defend by trying to own the ball and play."

Switzerland have reached the last eight of the World Cup on three occasions, but this is the furthest they have ever made it at a European Championship.

They have never previously made it to the semi-finals of a tournament but, buoyed by their famous triumph against France, Vladimir Petkovic's players have a chance to change that.

"The game against France was almost too emotional. All my players gave 120 per cent," said Petkovic, who will be without suspended skipper Granit Xhaka.

"It was probably one of my team's best games ever. We will now need a similar performance against Spain in the quarter-finals."

Spain have lost just one of their 22 meetings with Switzerland in all competitions (W16 D5), with that solitary defeat coming in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Sin tituloSpain's coach Luis Enrique leads a training session at at Ciudad del Futbol in Las Rozas de Madrid on June 30, 2021, during the UEFA EURO 2020 European Football Championship. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP)

Players to watch

Switzerland - Haris Seferovic

Benfica striker Seferovic scored just one goal in his first 13 major tournament appearances for Switzerland, but he has now netted three in his last two appearances at Euro 2020.

That includes a couple of well-taken goals in the win against France, and he is now out to become the second Swiss player – after Josef Hugi at the 1954 World Cup – to score in three successive appearances in a single tournament.

Euro 2020 - Round of 16 - France v SwitzerlandSoccer Football - Euro 2020 - Round of 16 - France v Switzerland - National Arena Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania - June 29, 2021 Switzerland's Haris Seferovic celebrates after the match Pool via REUTERS/Justin Setterfield

Spain - Ferran Torres

Manchester City attacker Torres was recalled to Spain's starting line-up for the Croatia match after scoring from the bench in the resounding win against Slovakia.

He made the most of his opportunity with another goal and an assist in the last 16, making it eight goal involvements – seven goals and one assist – in his last nine international appearances.

Sin tituloSpain's midfielder Ferran Torres celebrates after scoring Spain's third goal during the UEFA EURO 2020 round of 16 football match between Croatia and Spain at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen on June 28, 2021. (Photo by Martin Meissner / POOL / AFP)

Key Opta Facts

- This is the first clash between Switzerland and Spain at the Euros. Their three previous meetings in a major tournament came in the 1966, 1994 and 2010 World Cups, with Spain winning the first two and Switzerland triumphing last time out.

- Spain have scored five-plus goals in consecutive European Championship games. They had not scored more than four goals in any of their first 42 matches in the competition.

- Switzerland have scored three times in each of their past two Euros matches, having never scored more than twice in any of their first 15 in the competition. They previously scored three-plus goals in three straight matches in all competitions in October 2017.

- Having scored with just 8.5 per cent of their shots in the group stages (4/47), Switzerland converted 25 per cent of their attempts in the last-16 meeting with France (3/12).

- Spain are averaging 73.4 per cent possession and have a passing accuracy of 89.5 per cent at Euro 2020 so far. Both figures are their highest on record in a single European Championship (since 1980).