“We will cause problems for England”: Yakin ahead of EURO2024 quarterfinal

England’s quarterfinal opponents Switzerland are in a good position before tomorrow’s clash in Düsseldorf on Saturday night, says boss Murat Yakin.

The Swiss are the only side to take points off hosts Germany so far and knocked out defending champions Italy in the round of 16. Yakin addressed reporters today along with defender Fabian Schär and discussed their chances against Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions as they fight for a place in the semi-finals.

What did Murat Yakin say?

DUSSELDORF, GERMANY – JULY 05: Murat Yakin, Head coach of Switzerland on July 05, 2024 in Dusseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Frederic Scheidemann – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Switzerland’s manager was in good spirits despite the pressure of the looming quarterfinal, joking with a reporter who asked if it was the ‘game of his life’.

“The last two games I’ve been asked that question, and I hope I will be asked the question again next week and that things will continue! Of course it’s always a highlight, this is not something you experience everyday. But perhaps you can ask me that question again next week.

“We have played well and we were able to create problems for big opponents. I put the players on the field who are in form, and who can play the formation so that we can create problems for our opponents. I give them advice and confidence so that players can take on responsibility, and are also capable of individual actions. The mood within the team is good, and I’m in a good position.”

Reflecting on Switzerland’s progress so far, Yakin said: “To play against Italy, the European champion, of course we were very motivated. We were in good shape, and they probably had a bad moment – that was an advantage for us and we are very happy that we were able to play the game and that gave us more confidence. Our fans were also very happy and our country celebrated with us. That’s the kind of moments we live for and we’re very grateful for that.

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“We don’t know what England plans to do. They have a lot of quality in their team to play a quarterfinal – we’re in good shape, we have a lot of self-confidence and we have shown that in several games that we can play against big teams. We played against the defending champion, we played well against the hosts Germany. And so we will cause problems for the English and we will see what happens in the end.”

In contrast to England, whose only goalscorers so far have been Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham with two each, Switzerland have seven goalscorers so far this tournament. Dicussing their attacking depth, Yakin explained: “We also adapted our formation so we have fast, flexible players. So its not that we have (one) goal-getter in our team… we have different options when it comes to the attack.”

One key player is Granit Xhaka, who had a minor injury scare earlier this week – but Yakin confirmed he will be available for tomorrow.

“Granit has a lot of experience, he is fit and he trained with the team. I count on him 100% and I think he will play a great game tomorrow together with his team. We are all excited.”

What did Fabian Schär say?

Newcastle defender Fabian Schär is familiar with several of the Three Lions as he plies his trade in the Premier League, and said: “We know what to expect in terms of [England’s] quality. I don’t think it’s right to compare club and international football, though. We will be up against club-mates but this is different.

“I don’t think it’s an advantage for anyone.”

DUSSELDORF, GERMANY – JULY 05: Fabian Schaer of Switzerland during press conference on July 05, 2024 in Dusseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Frederic Scheidemann – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Asked if he was aware of the mood in England after their tournament performance so far, Schär said: “I haven’t had a lot of contact in the last few days with my contacts in England, so I’m not in a position to judge that. No matter how they played they are in the quarterfinals so nobody’s interested how they played in the group phase and the games before that. They have a lot of quality and any time they can hurt their opponents, so we need to be prepared.

“For us and Switzerland it would be great to show what we are capable of and I’m looking forward to the game.”

On the threat of Harry Kane, who he is familiar with from encounters in the UK, he said: “I think it’s the whole team we have to stop, not just Kane. We know how dangerous and difficult it can be but we have defended well in this tournament, defending as a team, and hopefully we can continue to do so.”

FromTheSpot will bring you live reaction from England’s press conference, and build up to Saturday’s quarterfinal, here and on our X account.