Thursday in Abu Dhabi, Switzerland will deliver its only preparation match before the World Cup in Qatar, a competition that it intends to leave its mark on. His adversary is Ghana, for a great first which is not lacking in interest.
The conclusion of this friendly match, against a team that she could find at the stage of the round of 16 of the World Cup. In Abu Dhabi, the kick-off will be given at 2:00 p.m. (11:00 a.m. in Switzerland), exactly the same time as next Thursday for Doha’s match against Cameroon.
In search of answers
A Murat Yakin who intends to obtain answers from the Emirates to the questions raised in recent weeks. Will Yann Sommer be fit after his ankle injury which has sidelined him since October 18? Now replacing Torino, will Ricardo Rodriguez be able to indulge without restraint despite the muscular discomfort felt in recent days? Finally, will Xherdan Shaqiri be on the pace after a month and a half without playing due to Chicago not qualifying for the MLS playoffs?
The encouraging signals sent by the medical staff for Sommer and Rodriguez encourage some optimism. As for Shaqiri, the course of his career has shown that he was, if not showing great constancy, a man capable of brilliant strokes coming from nowhere.
Murat Yakin will have to juggle to offer playing time to starters who need it and spare those who have played a lot in recent weeks. We think of Manuel Akanji, Nico Elvedi, Remo Freuler, Djibril Sow and Noah Okafor. “Sow will not start against Ghana, slips Murat Yakin. He has really chained the matches lately.“
The choice to deprive yourself of Sow thus responds to a measure of caution. But Murat Yakin knows that a blow can happen at any time despite all the precautions taken, as France with Christopher Nkunku and Morocco with Amine Harit have unfortunately been able to verify.
“A game for the attackers”
On the tactical level, Murat Yakin will not forbid anything against Ghana. “We may switch to a three-man defense if the substitutions in the game suggest it to me, he lets go. I have players who can adapt very quickly to this system. As we know, I attach great importance to flexibility.“
But the coach does not question his initial choice to play with a four-man defense. “I believe that Thursday’s game will be a game above all for the attackers, he concludes. With this in mind, playing four or three behind is not of major importance.“