Switzerland expect to see a more determined version of Scotland on Wednesday and will need to fight hard for their second Euro 2024 win, coach Murat Yakin said, as the Swiss target the knockout rounds of yet another major tournament.

GROUP A – Fixtures/Results

June 14 – 22.00Germany 5 Scotland 1Munich
June 15 – 16.00Hungary 1 Switzerland 3Cologne
June 19 – 19.00Germany v HungaryStuttgart
June 19 – 22.00Scotland v SwitzerlandCologne
June 23 – 22.00Germany v SwitzerlandFrankfurt
June 23 – 22.00Scotland v HungaryStuttgart


Switzerland got off to an impressive start on Saturday with a slick 3-1 win over Hungary, while Scotland are fighting for their Euros survival and to restore wounded pride after a miserable 5-1 drubbing by hosts Germany in the opening game.

“It’s not just about celebrating football. You have to run and when you play against Scotland you have to know what they’re capable of doing,” Yakin said ahead of the Group A match in Cologne.

“I’m sure they want to hurt us where they have their strengths. So we need to concentrate and focus. We need to work hard and get into the game. And I don’t think they will make it easy for us.”

Switzerland have a knack of stepping up in the big contests having reached the knockout stages of the past five major tournaments.

At Euro 2020 they famously eliminated then world champions France, launching a thrilling late comeback before prevailing in a penalty shootout.

By contrast, Scotland have never made it out of the group phase in 11 previous major tournaments.

After a poor Swiss qualifying campaign fraught with costly errors, Yakin faced criticism over tactics and calls to step down but proved his doubters wrong on Saturday by bringing back three players who each got on the scoresheet.

Yakin said he was unfazed by reports of unfavourable weather on the way that could make for a soggy encounter in Cologne.

“We can still concentrate on our game,” he said. “If it’s difficult to play on the pitch, the players will notice when they’re warming up and they’ll adapt.”

He singled out the form of defender Manuel Akanji, who started the move that led to Switzerland’s first goal against Hungary, and said he wanted him to marshall play beyond the defence.

“He has to take on more responsibility. And the way he plays, of course, I hope that in the midfield he will carry the team and that he will direct other players,” Yakin said. “Manuel has made a lot of progress there.”

Akanji said it was no surprise the team came together in the opening match.

“We were all ready. And we were looking forward to the first game. And we need that same anticipation for tomorrow,” he said.


Hungary will need to play a perfect game to get at least a point against Euro 2024 hosts Germany as they seek to make amends for the way they lost to Switzerland in their Group A opener, coach Marco Rossi said on Tuesday.

The Italian said it was the first time in four years that he was ashamed of his players after a complacent Hungary were two goals down to the Swiss by halftime on Saturday, eventually losing 3-1.

However, Rossi insisted that his team were determined to put in the kind of performance on Wednesday that would restore pride and keep their last-16 hopes alive ahead of a final group game against Scotland.

“We’ve paid for these (mistakes) in the first game and tomorrow we are playing Germany which, in my opinion, is the toughest rival, toughest team to play now, but we will do our best,” Rossi told a press conference.

“We know on paper the German team is better than us. This should further motivate us, allowing us to give our very best show.

“Hopefully we can grasp a point tomorrow and that will allow us, I hope, to qualify for the next round. But this will call for the perfect match, all those playing must give 100%.”

Hungary are joint bottom of Group A with Scotland on zero points, ahead of the Scots only on goal difference, so they need a positive result if they are to reach the knockout stage for the first time since Euro 2016.

“We seek some sort of comeback. Because for the first time in four years, since November 2020, I was ashamed of my team after the first half,” he added.

“But inevitably the first half affected the final outcome. And I and my players have this sensation right now that we really want to show what we are truly worth.”

Hungary have a good recent record against the Germans, going unbeaten in their last three encounters – the last of which was a 1-0 win for the Hungarians in Leipzig in the Nations League in September 2022.

However, this will be the first time that Rossi faces a German side coached by Julian Nagelsmann who had home fans giddy with excitement after their 5-1 mauling of Scotland in the tournament’s opening game.

“Right now, it’s not the German squad we played against three years ago (Euro 2020) or in the Nations League,” Rossi said.

“They have (midfielder) Toni Kroos once again, he needs no introduction.

“The previous coaches were very good but I think this one (Nagelsmann) is really a top notch coach. So if you look at all this you know what you’re in for. We know it will be very tough for us.”

Croatia are looking to restore their European Championship chances after a sobering defeat in their opening game but coach Zlatko Dalic believes they will need a patient approach to beat Albania on Wednesday.


GROUP B – Fixtures/Results

June 15 – 19.00Spain 3 Croatia 0Berlin
June 15 – 22.00Italy 2 Albania 1Dortmund
June 19 – 16.00Croatia v AlbaniaHamburg
June 20 – 22.00Spain v ItalyGelsenkirchen
June 24 – 22.00Albania v SpainDusseldorf
June 24 – 22.00Croatia v ItalyLeipzig

Croatia, who finished third at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, were handed a 3-0 hiding by Spain in their Group B opener on Saturday and know anything but a victory will severely dent their hopes of a place in the last 16.

With holders Italy also in their group, Dalic said Croatia were targeting the Albania clash for much needed points.

“We knew this game would be very important even before the beginning of the tournament,” he told a press conference on the eve of the clash at Hamburg’s Volksparkstadion.

“The players are well aware of the situation we are in, we have to be better tomorrow than we were in the first game,” he said of Saturday’s loss in Berlin, where Spain were three goals up by halftime in a display of crisp finishing.

“We are not discouraged by that defeat, the atmosphere in the squad is positive and I am happy we have prepared well for tomorrow’s game.”

But for Croatia to beat Albania, who narrowly lost 2-1 to Italy in their opener at the tournament in Germany, Dalic stressed the need for patience and cool heads.

“We will be looking to be more offensive and go on attack from the first very first minute. Albania is not an opponent with the same quality as Spain.

“But we also have to show them respect and we’re expecting very difficult opponents who are well organised and we have to be very patient and very careful in this match.

“The statistics against Spain showed that we had more chances and greater possession than them. But we have to be more efficient, and more aggressive.”

To that end, Dalic will be making changes to the lineup but gave no further details.

“Those that will start tomorrow are ready, they know what our goal or what our aim is and what we’re up against,” he added.

Tenth-placed Croatia are 56 spots above Albania in the FIFA rankings.