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[2024 European Cup Switzerland]Despite the challenges ahead, Switzerland is determined to make history and push for a spot in the quarter-finals.

Switzerland has long been considered a strong contender in European football, consistently performing well in major tournaments. Since the 2014 World Cup, Switzerland has advanced from the group stage in all five major tournaments they've participated in (three World Cups and two European Championships). In the last European Championship, they made history by reaching the quarter-finals, defeating favorites France along the way, marking their best-ever performance in the tournament.

In the qualifiers for this European Championship, Switzerland was grouped with Romania, Israel, Belarus, Kosovo, and Andorra. They finished second in the group with 4 wins, 1 draw, and 1 loss, securing their place in the final tournament. In the Euro 2024 finals, Switzerland is placed in Group A alongside Germany, Scotland, and Hungary. They are likely to compete with Scotland and Hungary for the second spot in the group.

Looking at the age structure of the team, Switzerland has an overall older squad, with key players like Xhaka, Shaqiri, Ricardo Rodriguez, Freuler, and Sommer all aged over 30. However, their defensive linchpin, Manchester City's main center-back Akanji, is at his peak. Notably, Switzerland hasn't produced highly talented young players in recent years, making this European Championship possibly the last chance for these players to shine, resulting in unpredictable energy levels.

Switzerland is not known for frequently changing coaches. Since 2001, they've only had four head coaches. Before the current coach, Jakim took over, both Kuhn and Petkovic held the position for over six years. Jakim has been in charge for nearly three years. However, his coaching career hasn't been remarkable, mostly coaching domestic clubs in Switzerland, with his longest tenure lasting only 2 years and 1 month. Before coaching the national team, Jakim had not managed any other national team. His predecessor, Petkovic, led the team to historic success, reaching the quarter-finals of the European Championship. The pressure on Jakim is significant, especially after the team's disappointing 6-1 loss to Portugal in the round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup.

In terms of attacking prowess, Switzerland relies heavily on the 32-year-old former Liverpool star Shaqiri, who has seen a decline in form since moving to Chicago Fire in 2022 but remains a trusted figure in the team. In the absence of Embolo for most of the Euro qualifiers, the 27-year-old Monaco forward Enbolo is the preferred choice upfront. In midfield, former Arsenal star Xhaka is the captain and linchpin, while Freuler and Zakaria secure the remaining midfield spots. Defensively, Akanji and Elvedi form a solid partnership at center-back, with Rodriguez and Widmer occupying the full-back positions. In goal, Sommer is the first choice, with Kobel as a reliable backup.

Given Switzerland's positioning, their primary objective for this European Championship is to advance from the group stage. Fortunately, in Group A, aside from Germany, the overall strength of the other two teams is not particularly strong. However, Switzerland has been somewhat unlucky in the draw this time. If they manage to qualify as the second-placed team in the group, they will face the second-placed team from Group B in the round of 16. Group B is considered the "Group of Death" in this tournament, with teams like Spain, Italy, and Croatia, all of which are generally stronger than Switzerland. Therefore, advancing further may prove challenging for Switzerland.

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