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Wales vs. Switzerland Predictions: Draw & Xhaka to be carded

Gareth Bale is Wales' star man heading into their game with Switzerland
Gareth Bale is Wales' star man heading into their game with Switzerland
By Neil Monnery

Game two of Euro 2020 comes from Baku where two good nations face-off looking to get their competition off to a strong start. Neil Monnery has a look at Wales vs. Switzerland...

Location: Baku, Azerbaijan

Date: Saturday, June 12.

Kick Off Time: 9AM ET

TV: ESPN

Five years ago, Wales were the surprise package at Euro 2016. Two wins from three in the Group Stage before victories over Northern Ireland and Belgium in the knockout rounds took them all the way to the semi-final where they finally succumbed to eventual winners Portugal.

This squad still has two of the same star players. Gareth Bale has had - shall we call it an ‘interesting’ season on loan at Spurs in the EPL. He was used sparingly but only really showed top form against some of the weaker teams in the league.

A return to Real Madrid looks likely this summer but his priority is clearly to lead his country into this tournament. The quality hasn’t disappeared. The only question is his desire. That doesn’t seem in much doubt when it comes to playing for Wales so I fully expect big things from him.

Aaron Ramsey is one of the biggest enigmas in world football. The 30 year-old is clearly extremely talented but has struggled to turn that quality into consistent performances. Lots of column inches are being dedicated to him potentially leaving Juventus this summer and a big European Championship could open up plenty of options for him. It must be remembered that he was directly involved (one goal and four assists) in ten of Wales’ goals at Euro 2016.

Dan James and Harry Wilson are two other fine players who can open up opposition teams with pace and skill.

On the other side of the ledger, Switzerland are led by a player who is far more appreciated by his countrymen than he is by fans of his club team. Plenty of Arsenal fans want Granit Xhaka to move on and reports just before the competition suggest that he is set to join Jose Mourinho at AS Roma. He might not be a playmaker or have the range of passing as say Aaron Ramsey but he can put his foot in and boss the game in the center of the park.

Xherdan Shaqiri on his day can be world class. His day though does not come around very often. The Liverpool winger will be one to watch in the opening few minutes of the game to get a good indication of how he might perform.

Picks: This should be a tight game so I like the betting value of a tie - best priced at +205 at the time of writing.

I also like Granit Xhaka to get carded. That is +235 with several Sportsbooks at the time of writing and that is decent value.

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