Preview: France v Switzerland

2014-06-20 11:41
Karim Benzema and Mathieu Valbuena (AFP)
Cape Town - It's been unofficially labelled as the Battle of the Alps as France take on Switzerland in a vital Group E encounter. 

The match kicks off at 9pm SA time.

The battle for control of Group E takes centre stage in Salvador on Friday when France and Switzerland meet in a match that could go a long way towards deciding who finishes top of the pool. 

Follow Sport24's LIVE and interactive match updates for this clash. 
Both the Swiss and French enter this weekend's Arena Fonte Nova encounter with three points on the board, having won their opening games, against Ecuador and Honduras respectively.

The teams have met on 36 previous occasions, with Les Blues winning fifteen times and Switzerland twelve, while their other nine matches have ended in draws.

Les Bleus head into the game on the back of a resounding 3-0 win over the Hondurans, where Karim Benzema scored two and forced Noel Valladares into conceding an own goal.

Meanwhile, the Swiss also got Brazil 2014 off to the perfect start as they beat Ecuador 2-1, although they had also won their opening game at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa after seeing off Spain, only to eventually fail in progressing to the round of 16.

Goalkeeper Diego Bengalio, though, believes they have learnt from that experience, saying: "I think that everyone who was involved four years ago is wary of what can happen. We've learnt our lesson."

The VfL Wolfsburg man says they are happy with the work they have done thus far.

He added: "We've already won against a competitor for a spot in the next round, so things already look brighter than at the last World Cup."

The winner of this clash is guaranteed a spot in the Round of 16.

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