The winners of Switzerland’s qualifying group have an interesting mix of youth and experience that makes them anything but easy opponents. The team boasts a raft of players commanding starting places in Europe’s top leagues, including Behrami (West Ham), Barnetta (Bayer Leverkusen), Goekhan Inler (Udinese) and Ziegler (Sampdoria). Arsenal misfit Senderos will also be in the travelling party bound for South Africa.
Hitzfeld, or Der General as he is affectionately nicknamed, is a name that commands respect across the football world for his achievements with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munchen. There’s no denying, this man’s a winner: with two Champions Leagues under his belt, plus two World Coach of the Year accolades and numerous domestic titles littering his trophy cabinet.
Player to watch
The captain will be out to show he can cut it on the world stage. Frei bagged an impressive five goals in nine qualification matches and has a notable tally of 40 goals in 71 international matches. The Swiss version of Alan Shearer, some might say.
We’re on the ball
World Cup appearances: 8
Previous best: Quarter-finals (1934, 1938 and 1954)
Odds of winning: 200/1
Strange but true: The Swiss are the only team not to score in a World Cup penalty shootout, losing 3-0 to Ukraine in 2006.
Fixtures: Spain, June 16, 6pm, Durban Chile, June 21, 6pm, Port Elizabeth Honduras, June 25, 10.30pm, Bloemfontein