Lewandowski, Shaqiri Yet to Shine as Switzerland Take on Poland

Switzerland and Poland take on each other in the round of 16 match in Euro 2016 on Saturday.

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2 min read
Poland’s Robert Lewandowski runs with the ball during the match against Germany. (Photo: AP) 

Poland forward Robert Lewandowski and Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri, who have yet to shine at Euro 2016, will have another chance to brighten up the tournament when their teams clash in St Etienne in the last 16 on Saturday.

Although neither player has had an especially bad tournament, they have yet to produce performances that match their billing as their teams’ most creative players, and get on the scoresheet for the first time.

Lewandowski completed six international matches without scoring when he missed an early chance in their 1-0 win over Ukraine.

However, he still worked hard in attack and was always getting in position to receive the ball so there are no real concerns about his form.

He has a lot of influence on the way we play, he is an incredibly important player for us. He is our engine, like a locomotive and he provides us with power.
Adam Nawalka, Coach, Poland

Similarly, the Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic is unconcerned that Shaqiri, who scored a hat-trick against Honduras in the World Cup two years ago, has not shown off his dribbling or long-range shooting skills.

Individualists are having a tough time at his tournament. I’m satisfied that Xherdan is not an individualist at the moment, but a team player. He gives everything for the team and that’s what he should keep doing. When the team goes well, everyone profits.
Vladimir Petkovic, Coach, Switzerland
Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri, left, fights for the ball with France’s Yohan Cabaye during their group match. (Photo: AP) 
Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri, left, fights for the ball with France’s Yohan Cabaye during their group match. (Photo: AP) 

There are no clear favourites between the two technically gifted sides who have both progressed beyond the group stage of the competition for the first time.

Both have struggled for goals, however, scoring only twice each in three matches.

Switzerland have got better as the tournament has gone on and dominated possession when they held hosts France to a 0-0 draw in their final group game on Sunday to qualify.

Poland went through their group without conceding a goal, coming second behind Germany, and gave the impression that they had an extra gear to move into.

We want to stick to our tried and tested philosophy and prepare for the game as normal. We’ve looked at Poland and analysed them, but we want to focus on our own qualities. If we play to our potential on Saturday we’ll be a very difficult opponent for Poland.
Stephan Lichtsteiner, Captain, Switzerland

(With inputs from Reuters)

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