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Nations League predictions: Swiss can bounce back in Portugal
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Murat Yakin's Switzerland side slipped to a surprise defeat first up but they can get something from their trip to Portugal
Murat Yakin's Switzerland side slipped to a surprise defeat first up but they can get something from their trip to Portugal

Scandinavian rivals Sweden and Norway made winning starts to their respective Nations League campaigns but something has to give when they clash in Solna tonight. 

Spain and Portugal shared the spoils in their all-Iberian dust-up in Seville and face testing second matches.

The Spanish head to Prague to take on Czech Republic, while Portugal meet Switzerland. 

Portugal vs Switzerland (7.45pm BST)

Switzerland were the big losers on the opening night of action in Nations League A Group 2 after slumping to a 2-1 defeat in Prague against the Czechs. 

That result has extended their wait for a first win of 2022.

But it does not mean they head to Lisbon without hope for their second assignment against Portugal — far from it. 

The loss in Prague was just their third 90-minute reverse in their last 22 matches and they carved out enough openings to have won two games. 

It took an own goal to cost them a draw and they will have nothing to fear from an ageing Portuguese squad who probably deserved their point in Seville against Spain. 

But there is nothing mythical about Portugal — or Spain — these days and a progressive, well-organised bunch like the Swiss can at the very least avoid defeat, if not more. 

Czech Republic vs Spain (7.45pm BST)

The Czechs made light of the absence of ace marksman Patrik Schick by kicking off their Nations League A Group 2 campaign with a 2-1 win over the Swiss — but they will find Spain a far tougher nut to crack. 

The Czechs certainly rode their luck against Switzerland, though Lokomotiv Moscow striker Jan Kuchta justified his coach’s faith in him by opening the scoring. 

The problem now is that Jaroslav Silhavy sent out his strongest available side and he is going to have to rotate, which means digging into the depths of his squad. 

And the strength of Silhavy’s options compared to the bottom end of Spain’s is a mismatch. 

Spain can draft in the likes of Dani Carvajal, Rodri, Koke and others, who all started on the bench in Thursday’s 1-1 draw against Portugal.

The Czechs have made a great start after promotion to the top tier of the Nations League but the size of the challenge facing their threadbare squad could be amply illustrated here. 

Sweden vs Norway (7.45pm BST)

Sweden and Norway got off to dream starts in Nations League B Group 4, with the Swedes winning 2-0 in Slovenia while the Norwegians triumphed 1-0 in Serbia. 

Erling Haaland has scored 16 goals in 18 appearances for Norway
Erling Haaland has scored 16 goals in 18 appearances for Norway

It is probably fair not to expect many goals in Solna — Sweden’s last six competitive internationals have yielded just nine and Norway’s last five have produced seven. 

Both coaches will ring the changes for match two of four in this hectic summer schedule, which means Erling Haaland is probably not guaranteed a start — although he would be a hard man to leave out. 

Norway could well nick this but a likely dearth of goals would make the draw a big runner between two well-matched outfits, particularly with the last four meetings between the pair — and seven of the last 11 — having ended in stalemate.

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