Home NEWS Preview: Kosovo vs. Switzerland – prediction, team news, lineups

Preview: Kosovo vs. Switzerland – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Euro Champ Qualifying clash between Kosovo and Switzerland, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Switzerland will be looking to maintain their position at the top of Group I in Euro 2024 qualifying when they travel to the Fadil Vokrri Stadium to face Kosovo on Saturday night.

While the hosts are unbeaten from their opening four fixtures, the visitors are still searching for their first victory.

Match preview

Kosovo coach Alain Giresse before the match on March 28, 2023© Reuters

After narrowly missing out on reaching Euro 2020 in their inaugural qualification campaign, losing to North Macedonia in the playoff semi-finals, Kosovo have since made a slow start in Euro 2024 qualifying, picking up just three points from their first four fixtures.

Kosovo drew two friendly matches before playing out three successive draws against Israel, Andorra and Romania in Group I, but their five-game drawing streak was brought to an end in their most recent qualifier in June when they suffered a 2-1 away defeat to Belarus.

Vedat Muriqi‘s 87th-minute penalty proved inconsequential as two earlier strikes in the space of three second-half minutes from Vladislav Morozov and Max Ebong ultimately secured the three points for Belarus, with Kosovo manager Alain Giresse left with plenty to ponder after his side dominated the contest for large spells.

The Dardanians, who are ranked 109th in the world by FIFA, arguably face their toughest test yet in Group I against Switzerland on Saturday, although they managed to play out a 1-1 draw in their only previous meeting with the Swiss in March 2022.

Kosovo have certainly preferred playing on home soil in recent months as they have only lost one of their last eight home internationals since the beginning of 2022, while they have won just one of their last six fixtures on the road in the same period.

Switzerland's Zeki Amdouni celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on June 19, 2023© Reuters

Bidding to qualify for their third successive European Championships, Switzerland have put themselves in the driving seat to top Group I as they currently sit at the summit with 10 points after four matches.

The Rossocrociati won their opening three qualifiers against Belarus, Israel and Andorra by an aggregate score of 10-1, but their 100% record in Group I was brought to an end in June wen they were forced to settle for a 2-2 home draw with Romania.

Switzerland appeared to be on course to claim all three points courtesy of strikes either side of half time from Zeki Amdounibut goals in the 89th and 92nd minutes from Valentin Mihaila rescued a point for Romania in dramatic fashion.

Head coach Murat Sure has stated that his side are now facing “two groundbreaking games” in their quest to top Group I and has insisted that they must have “100% focus” if they are to avoid any slip-ups and book their place in the finals in Germany.

Ranked 13th in the world by FIFA, Switzerland – who have only lost two of their last 10 away matches in Euro qualifying – will fancy their chances of claiming maximum points from their upcoming fixtures against Kosovo and Andorra, who are both ranked outside the top 100.

Kosovo Euro Champ Qualifying form:

Kosovo form (all competitions):

Switzerland Euro Champ Qualifying form:

Switzerland form (all competitions):

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Team News

Kosovo players celebrate their first goal after Israel's Eli Dasa scores an own goal on March 25, 2023© Reuters

Kosovo boss Giresse is expected to stick with a 4-2-3-1 formation, with captain and Napoli defender Amir Rahmani set to be joined in the back four by Exile Vojvoda, Show Aliti and Leart Morning.

Bersant Celina has not been called up to Giresse’s 27-man squad this month, so Florent Muslija could be tasked with playing in the number 10 role in between wingers Edon Zhegrova and Besiktas new recruit Milot Rashicawho is in line to earn his 50th international cap.

Muriqi, who has scored 24 goals in 48 international appearances, is set to lead the line, while as many as six uncapped players, including Hamburger SV defender Zumberi of lightwill be hoping to make their debut on Saturday.

As for Switzerland, Noah Okafor, Cedric Itten, Ardon Jashari and Dan Ndoye – The Best Of Dan Ndoye have all been recalled to the first-team squad after they were not selected in June for various reasons, while Young Boys midfielder Filip Ugrinic has received his first senor call-up; all five players are in contention to feature against Kosovo.

Bayer Leverkusen’s Granit Xhakawho was one of eight Swiss players who changed clubs over the summer, is expected to start as captain in centre-midfield alongside Denis Zakaria and either Remo Freuler or Djibril Sow.

With Breel Embolo sidelined for several months with an ACL injury, Burnley’s Zeki Amdouni – who has scored five goals in as many international appearances – is set start up front, with support provided in attack by Xherdan Shaqiri and Ruben Vargas.

Kosovo possible starting lineup:
Muric; Vojvoda, Rrahmani, Aliti, Paqarada; Dresevic, Fazliji; Zhegrova, Muslija, Rashica; Muriqi

Switzerland possible starting lineup:
Summer; Fernandes, Akanji, Elvedi, Rodriguez; Freuler, Zachariah, Genealogy; Shaqiri, Amdouni, Vargas

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We say: Kosovo 0-2 Switzerland

Kosovo have shown that they can frustrate opponents so far in Group I and they will hope to do the same on Saturday as they search for their first three points in qualifying.

However, we are predicting Switzerland to come out on top as they boast a much stronger squad, on paper, that should have the quality to break down Kosovo’s backline.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data

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