Israel vs Switzerland

Pancho Arena forms the backdrop for a crunch 2024 European Championship qualifying Group I showdown between Israel and Switzerland.

Israel needed cool heads in their first of four internationals scheduled to take place in ten days to boost their hopes of qualifying for a first-ever European Championship. Yet they slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Kosovo while club football was still in full swing, casting significant doubt on their bid to secure a top-two finish in an evenly-contested Group I. Stranded four points adrift of second-placed Switzerland, Alon Hazan’s men must make history to get their qualification quest back on track and beat the Swiss for the first time at the sixth attempt (D4, L1). While the conflict back home continues to mar the whole region, the ‘Chosen Team’ will play in Hungary, looking to protect their near-perfect ‘home’ record in the ongoing qualifying cycle (W2, D1).

As for Switzerland, replicating a 3-0 win in the reverse fixture would fire them within striking distance of a third straight Euro appearance. However, the ‘Nati’ have not only shared the spoils in four of their five all-time encounters against Israel but have also drawn three of their last four internationals (W1). Messing up early leads has been a common theme in Switzerland’s recent matches, as each of those three stalemates saw them pegged back after breaking the deadlock in the first half, including a shock 3-3 home draw against Belarus last time out. But Murat Yakin’s men have traveled exceptionally well, going unbeaten in six of their seven away Euro qualifiers (W4, D2) since the start of the previous qualifying campaign.

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