Switzerland and Japan did good to book their tickets to the World Cup, where they will both have their hands full against some very good opponents. The two teams will now clash against one another in a friendly match in Lugano, Switzerland on Friday, looking to get some feedback on where they are standing right now.
Switzerland were simply stunning in Group B of the World Cup qualifiers, but despite racking up 27 points they were stuck at the 2nd spot behind Portugal. Even so, they overcame Northern Ireland in the playoffs (1-0 away, 0-0 home) to book their ticket to the World Cup. Since then they have played three friendlies, where they defeated Greece by 1-0 before destroying Panama by a massive 0-6. In their most recent they were quite pressured by Spain, but they scored a goal at the 62nd minute to tie that match at 1-1. They have a really good squad, capable of causing upsets in the World Cup.
Japan quite comfortably topped their qualifying group and secured a spot in the World Cup (6-2-2). They were so comfortable that the loss to Saudi Arabia in the final match-day didn’t cost them anything. Since then the Japanese have played seven friendly matches, where they have only defeated New Zealand (1-4-2). In their most recent match they didn’t use their best players against Ghana and eventually lost by 2-0 despite being the better team. They have struggled to get results in their friendly matches so far, but they have yet to play with their full squad.