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Xhaka’s challenge ahead of a special duel

From a Swiss perspective, the clash against Germany for the group win is a real cracker. Granit Xhaka sends out a challenge, while Ricardo Rodriguez is still in a joking mood

With the 1:1 draw against Scotland, Switzerland missed out on booking a place in the last 16 on the second matchday of the European Championship, but the Nati are as good as through with the point. While the Scots, who can still draw level on points, have a big mortgage from their 5-1 defeat to Germany, Switzerland go into their final group game with a goal difference of plus 2. And even if everything goes wrong there, with four points the Swiss have a good chance of qualifying for the next round as one of the four best third-placed teams in the group

“It would certainly have been nicer if we had already secured our place in the round of 16,” said Ricardo Rodriguez at a press conference two days before the final group game against Germany. But the 31-year-old defender has nothing against a little pressure. The long-serving Wolfsburg player, who has a yellow card to his name, also emphasized: “The anticipation is great and the team is ready. We will give everything against Germany to make the fans happy. “

Spain or Italy await in the round of 16

The Nati can only snatch group victory from the DFB team with a win. With a draw, the Swiss are certain to finish second in the group. This is also the case if they lose, but the Scots are unlikely to win the long-distance duel with Hungary and make up the six-goal difference. So it all comes down to a round of 16 encounter with Spain or Italy, even if there could theoretically – but very unlikely – still be an explosive clash with Albania.

“I like third place,” joked Rodriguez, only to immediately revise: “Of course we want to finish first.” The final is his big goal and he expects every player to think like that. Against Germany, Rodriguez demands 90 minutes of full concentration. “If you’re not, it goes very quickly,” said the Torino captain and praised the hosts: “Germany are outstanding. All the players are good. “

Xhaka: “We won’t have as much respect as the Scots “

Granit Xhaka would certainly subscribe to that. It’s a special match for the national team captain anyway. Firstly, because he is playing against the country in which he recently became champion with Leverkusen. And also because he will be up against his Bayer colleague Robert Andrich in midfield. They worked successfully side by side at the club, now they are going up against each other – an exciting duel.

“We definitely have respect for the Germans. But we won’t have as much respect as the Scots in the opening game, who gave Germany the ball completely. We’re looking forward to it, we’re fired up – and we want to win the game,” said Xhaka, sending out a fighting message.



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