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FanZoner Andrew Harding gives the Swiss his pre-match advice

Alexander Frei: should be rested against Spain

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I am delighted that the World Cup is not a knock-out competition from the off.

"They should try and bully them, the delicate Spanish would not like that one bit - but they need to keep it up for 95 minutes."

Switzerland FanZoner Andrew Harding.

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My adopted nation take on pre-tournament favourites Spain in their first match - that alone is enough to make anyone tremble with fear.

There midfield is scintillating. It must be the best in the world, how many other teams have the luxury of having world class players such as Xabi Alonso and Cesc Fabregas on the periphery? None come to mind. David Villa and Fernando Torres are not bad either.

So can the Swiss pull off one of the most memorable shocks in World Cup history, and how should they go about it?

In any cup competition relative minnows beat major teams by having a large slice of luck, and crucially by not allowing the opposition to settle and express themselves. This is especially pertinent when Spain is the opposition, bearing in mind their passing ability.


Spain made England look like schoolboys in a friendly not long ago. While the Swiss need some luck, they must start with a high tempo, get it in their faces and frankly make it an ugly game. They should try and bully them, the delicate Spanish would not like that one bit - but they need to keep it up for 95 minutes.

Switzerland need to keep it proverbially 'tight', it may be best to start with put 11 men behind the ball whilst trying to steal a goal, then try and park a bus in front of their goal.

As previously stated, the fitness of captain and talisman Alexander Frei is crucial. His fitness was touch and go a few months ago. Now I hear he has limped out of training and is a major doubt.

However, a scenario exists whereby that might not be a disaster. To be honest I do not particularly rate Swiss chances against Spain (I even adopted a Swiss Army knife - so I'm very partisan!).

Thus it may not be that important that Frei misses that game. If they want to progress it is crucial the Swiss get good results against both Chile and Honduras, and Frei will have an important impact in those games.

My advice:

1. Rest Alexander Frei, keep him fresh.

2. Steal a bus and park in front of the goal and stick 11 men behind the ball.

3. Hope for a large slice of luck.

I'll be doing my bit for the Spain game - I'll be cutting up some Swiss cheese with my Swiss Army Knife before devouring it - and I may have some Swiss chocolate for desert too!