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Last World Cup: Group Stage
Nickname: Schweizer Nati
Coach: Ottmar Hitzfeld
Star man: Xherdan Shaqiri
Tournament best: Quarter-finals 1934, 1938, 1954

Hitzfeld will be one of the most experienced coaches among the 32 finalists, and he oversees a group featuring several star names from the German Bundesliga. A new generation which has impressed at under-age tournaments in recent years - spearheaded by Bayern Munich's Shaqiri - are now poised to strut their stuff at senior level. They arguably had the easiest route to qualification of all the European entrants however.

Strengths: The Swiss kept clean sheets in an astonishing 70% of their qualifying matches, with four of the six goals they did concede arriving in one match: a cracking 4-4 draw with Iceland. While they rarely ran riot in attack they posed a significant threat from set pieces, particularly free kicks which only five finalists scored a higher proportion of.

Weaknesses: Their relatively modest haul of goals notwithstanding, conceding late goals and hence preserving leads was an occasional problem for an otherwise exemplary defence, which will almost certainly be magnified in the tournament proper.

Prospects: Honduras and France both struggled to score in around a third of their qualifying matches, which will encourage the robust Swiss defence. While Honduras look the most vulnerable to set piece attacks, their knack of scoring late will have to be curtailed if further frustration is to be avoided.

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