They have never won a major tournament, they have never qualified from the Group Stage, but how will a new look Switzerland fare in Euro 2016?
Vladimir Petkovic will face his biggest test as a manager at his first international competition and will have the task of getting the Swiss out of a group featuring hosts France, Romania and Albania.
Switzerland secured their place by finishing second in their group which featured England and Slovenia.
While they have struggled to score goals on a consistent basis under Petkovic, their results and the matter they won in the qualifying campaign proves they can definitely find the back of the net when they really need to.
Their 4-4-2 formation restricts what they can do in terms of attacking on the counter, but it will help them in defence, which is their biggest strength. Despite La Nati‘s biggest names arguably being Stoke City attacker Xherdan Shaqiri and Arsenal Granit Xhaka, the backline is filled by captain and Juventus right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner, former Arsenal defender Johan Djourou and Bundesliga duo Fabian Schaer and Ricardo Rodriguez.
Romania and Albania both opt for the popular 4-2-3-1, while France play a traditional 4-3-3, so the battles of the contrasting football will be interesting to watch.
While working as a unit defensively might get the one point, if Switzerland want to get all three points they are going to have to give the ball to Shaqiri. The former Bayern Munich winger can terrorise defences with his excellent skills on the ball and his tireless work ethic. The 24-year-old will be the key for going forward and will have to carry the weight of expectation on his broad shoulders. A goal scorer and creator, if the Rossocrociati are to make it far in the tournament, they are going to need him firing on all cylinders.
As mentioned earlier, Vladimir Petkovic will have a big challenge on his hands at the tournament. A solitary Coppa Italia win with Lazio in 2013 remains his only major trophy in a near two decade career as manager. However, what he lacks in trophies he provides in experience, motivation and the tactical prowess to secure his teams crucial wins, something that will be essential in a young Switzerland squad.
Petkovic took over from Ottmar Hitzfeld after the 2014 World Cup, where they were eliminated in the round of 16 by finalists Argentina, so there is definitely some untapped potential in this side. But whether Petkovic is the man to get it out of his players is yet to be seen.
Prediction – Round of 16
Switzerland will enter the tournament knowing that they can achieve maximum points from their first two matches before closing out the first round against France – a contest that could impact where they ultimately finish. The French will be a big test especially in front of their home fans, and the Swiss will likely see defeat and be eliminated in the Round of 16.
Arsenal players to watch – Granit Xhaka