The effort is palpable. The Swiss protagonists focus on two capital matches on Saturday in Copenhagen against Denmark and on Tuesday in Geneva against Ireland. Certainly the crew does not want any sparks like last September, when the resignation of Xherdan Shaqiri and his allegedly tormented relationship with Vladimir Petkovic became a permanent issue. Or earlier in the World Cup, as the two-headed Eagle disrupted concentration before the second round against the sensitive Sweden.
Backed by new national team director Pierluigi Tami, Vladimir Petkovic has been practicing as a diplomatically beloved traveler in recent weeks. On Friday, the two presented the results of their visits to the players and at the same time expressed misunderstandings about the negativity in reporting. At the camp in Lausanne, the team seems to be swamped – almost as if the reports of atmospheric disturbances have been filled. As for the content of Petkovic's meeting with Shaqiri and Lichtsteiner, the parties agreed to remain silent. For example, Lichtsteiner said Tuesday, "I can tell you what we ate. But I'm not saying what we talked about." They agreed it was a "great conversation."
Obviously in the last few months you have been drawing conclusions in the national team. In Lausanne, there is a good and, above all, focused atmosphere. "It's about the team, not the individual," Lichtsteiner said. The 35-year-old captain joined the team for the first time since March and said the report has been "fairly repeatable" in recent weeks.
Needless to say, the team knows the importance of the next matches. It's a lot. Switzerland have currently scored three points behind the Irish and one point behind the Danes in one match less. Combined with the rest of the program, one can read from: If he wins Saturday in Copenhagen and three days later in Geneva, a definitive qualification at home against Georgia and away because of the formalities of Gibraltar. If she scores two defeats – they would be the first – it would be tight.
"Two immensely important games," Denis Zakaria said in the name. The midfielder arrived on Monday as his Gladbacher teammates Yann Sommer, Nico Elvedi and Breel Embolo as the Bundesliga leader with a wide chest at Lausanne. But not just in the foal group, confidence has grown in recent weeks. Lichtsteiner plays regularly again after transferring to Augsburg, Fabian Schär, who also left training on Tuesday due to bruises Sunday, is on permanent staff in Newcastle. Breel Embolo is also back in the game thanks to a change from Mönchengladbach, and Haris Seferovic's confidence is more intact thanks to his goals for Benfica.
Ricardo Rodriguez is a key player in a sensitive situation you might not expect lately. The left back lost his place at Milan. The fact that the other side of the defense because of Kevin Mbabus was out of practice in Wolfsburg, also until the post, could prevent Lichtsteiner. Especially for games like those against a strong Irishman, the former Juventus and Arsenal player can be an important factor even at 35.
Coach Vladimir Petkovic's team in the four remaining games is not even better. Twice it brought negligence in the final minutes to other points. Against Ireland, she ceded in September in the 85th minute, 1-1, against the Danes in the 84th minute, a 3-0 lead. "It can happen. It's important that you learn that," Lichtsteiner said, referring to the playful 4-1 match against Iceland in the World Cup qualifier six years ago, in which he himself participated and to which the team matched victories against Norway , Albania and Slovenia,
And to put it positively: Against the main rivals in the fight for two European Championship tickets, Switzerland has actually proven that they can survive without Xherdan Shaqiri. The injured key player was also absent in these two games.