Looking at the journey of Switzerland and Poland in Euro 2016, they are the most unexpected candidates who made it to the knockout stage and both will take on each other in the first soccer match of last 16 on Saturday at Stade Geoffrey-Guichard in Saint-Etienne.
The Swiss team had begun their campaign after defeating three out of their last four opponents in friendly matches. They were one of only five teams who conceded one or fewer goals in the group stage, but the Polish defence was even stronger.
Switzerland will likely to play with the same side that drew against France in their last soccer game, 19-year-old forward Breel Embolo will again start for the team.
Three players will come back after a one-match ban Valon Behrami, Embolo, Fabian Schar and Granit Xhaka.
For the Polish side, Wojciech Szczesny will not appear in the match due to a thigh injury so Lukasz Fabianski will replace him.
For the first time in European Championship, both sides- Switzerland and Poland have reached the knockout stage. Prior to Euro 2016, the Polish side had not won any single game at the tournament.
For Poland Robert Lewandowski had delivered magical performance in the qualifying matches scoring 13 goals but is yet to open his account in the tournament. Both countries have each scored only twice in the tournament.
• Switzerland has just registered a single victory of their 10 games against Poland that came long back in May 1976 by 2-1.
• The Polish side has won four and five matches ended with a draw of those 10 meetings, a 4-0 friendly win in February 2001 is the most recent.
• Both countries played their last match friendly in Wroclaw, in November 2014 ended with 2-2.
• Their only competitive meetings were Euro 1980 qualifiers; Poland won 2-0 home and away. Soccer Match Schedule
• Out of 12 matches at Euro Championship, Switzerland have only won two, lost six and four were draw.
• The single goal they conceded came against Romania which was from the penalty spot.
• This is the first time, Switzerland has made it through a knockout match at a major tournament.
• They won seven matches and lost only two in their qualifying campaign and those two defeats were against England.
• Both of Switzerland’s goals so far have come as a result of corners.
• Out of seven goals, they scored at European Championship finals two came from the penalty and two from corners.
• In nine games they played at European Championship, Poland has never scored more than one. In this Euro 2016, they haven’t conceded a single goal in the group.
• Robert Lewandowski failed to score or provide an assist in the competition in 523 minutes.
• Out of five goals of Poland, Jakub Blaszczykowski has been directly involved in four in Euro history with two goals and two assists.
• Blaszczykowsk became the first Polish player to score at two Euro finals tournaments.
Goalkeepers: R Bürki, Yann Sommer, M Hitz
Defenders: M Lang, Johan Djourou, Nico Elvedi, S Lichtsteiner, Ricardo Rodriguez, F Schär, F Moubandje, Steve von Bergen
Midfielders: B Dzemaili, G Fernandes, Valon Behrami, F Frei, Granit Xhaka, Denis Zakaria
Forwards: A Mehmedi, Breel Embolo, E Derdiyok, Haris Seferovic, X Shaqiri, Shani Tarashaj
Goalkeepers: W Szczęsny, Łukasz Fabiański, A Boruc
Defenders: K Glik, Thiago Cionek, A Jędrzejczyk, Łukasz Piszczek, M Pazdan, Bartosz Salamon, J Wawrzyniak
Midfielders: K Grosicki, Jakub Błaszczykowski, T Jodłowiec, Grzegorz Krychowiak, B Kapustka, Karol Linetty, S Peszko, Krzysztof Mączyński, F Starzyński, Piotr Zieliński
Forwards: R Lewandowski, Arkadiusz Milik, M Stępiński