Swiss U21s have their sights set firmly on the quarter-finals

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Swiss U21s have their sights set firmly on the quarter-finals







© KEYSTONE/PETER KLAUNZER


The Swiss U21 national team can possibly make the quarter-final qualification at the EM on Sunday against Croatia (6 p.m.).

After the 1-0 coup against England, the second group game in Koper, Slovenia, should follow different tactical guidelines. “It will be a completely different match,” assures full-back and substitute captain Jordan Lotomba. “On Thursday we played very defensively because we knew that the English could bring us into trouble with their individual strengths. Croatia, on the other hand, are a team that is like ours. We will be able to play more offensively and have more possession.”

Lotomba is happy to show a different face with his teammates. “Of course we also have to be able to stand low and counter. It’s a tactic that worked against England. But I hope that we will be more offensive against Croatia and play with more joy.” Thanks to the success at the beginning, the Swiss have lost some of the pressure and their self-confidence has grown. “We know exactly what to do to win the match,” said Lotomba.

Whether the French legionnaire from Nice will also play as captain against Croatia depends on Kevin Rüegg’s form. The man from Zurich, who plays for Hellas Verona, has just recovered from an injury. Against England he played his first minutes since the beginning of January. “We look from day to day,” said national coach Mauro Lustrinelli.

In the best case scenario, the former striker can already plan for the second part of the U21 European Championship on Sunday evening. If Switzerland win and England fail against Portugal, Lustrinelli can plan to return to Slovenia in early summer. From May 31, the knockout round of the two-part tournament is due.

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