Switzerland boss Vladimir Petkovic vows to push his side ‘beyond our limits’ against France – Asia Despatch

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Switzerland boss Vladimir Petkovic vows to push his side ‘beyond our limits’ against France as he bids to take advantage of their defensive injury crisis and cause a shock against the Euro 2020 favourites

  • France take on Switzerland in the Euro 2020 last-16 on Sunday in Bucharest
  • The French are favourites for the tournament and topped the group of death 
  • Swiss boss Vladimir Petkovic is asking his players to dig deep to pull-off a shock 

Vladimir Petkovic has promised his Switzerland players will push ‘beyond 100 per cent’ in search of victory against France, who are favourites to breeze into the quarter-finals. 

The world champions are looking dangerous after topping the group of death, facing a Swiss side who could only scrape in the last-16 as a third-placed side. 

‘What is important is to keep the right attitude and believe in our strengths,’ Petkovic said. 

Switzerland are preparing to push beyond their limits as they face a tough task against France

Switzerland are preparing to push beyond their limits as they face a tough task against France

Vladimir Petkovic's team have been preparing in Bucharest ahead of their last-16 clash

Vladimir Petkovic’s team have been preparing in Bucharest ahead of their last-16 clash 

‘With opponents like France if you give 100% and they give 100% then that’s just not enough.

‘We have to go beyond our limits, beyond 100% and hope France stay a few percentages under us.’

France’s mounting injuries could mean a switch from a back four to a three-man defence for the Bucharest face-off. 

The world champions have no fit left backs following injuries to Lucas Hernandez and Lucas Digne in their 2-2 draw with Portugal on Wednesday and could now change their entire defensive formation with Adrien Rabiot, a midfielder, moving into the backline.

‘I don’t think this affects us,’ Petkovic added. ‘These are problems for Didier Deschamps but he has so many good players to chose from.’

‘We have to test ourselves, prepare to find our own game and deliver.’

The Swiss team have been preparing in Bucharest ahead of their last-16 clash on Monday

The Swiss team have been preparing in Bucharest ahead of their last-16 clash on Monday 

France's injury crisis at left-back, with Luca Digne out injured, is a minor boost to the Swiss

France’s injury crisis at left-back, with Luca Digne out injured, is a minor boost to the Swiss

Switzerland have crashed out in the last 16 in their last three major tournaments, including losing 5-4 on penalties to Poland at Euro 2016.

Petkovic, who has been in charge since 2014, was in the dugout for two of those defeats, at Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup.

‘With all due respect to our opponents, we will try to advance tomorrow because at this stage you cannot go back. The only way is forward,’ he said.

‘For sure the game against Poland at Euro 2016 we deserved to progress, and on penalties you need to be lucky. We learnt from that game, and also from the defeat against Sweden in the 2018 World Cup,’ he said. 

Switzerland narrowly qualified for the knockout stage after finishing third in their group, with one win, a draw and a loss.

‘We didn’t start well this tournament, but then we qualified,’ said Swiss captain Granit Xhaka. ‘We will need to do our best for 120 minutes, and then we’ll see if it’s enough.’

‘What we want is to advance after three times eliminated in the Round of 16. This team is ready to make history.’

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