World Cup pre-game: Switzerland vs. France

The Swiss won mere seconds before the last whistle in their first game, and the French waited 47 minutes to score their first goal. Both sides hope for a better start in Friday's Group E showdown (CBC,, 2:30 p.m. ET).

Group E leaders hoping to continue strong performances

France's Karim Benzema is in the spotlight after scoring two goals in his opening World Cup match. (Murad Sezer/Reuters)

Group E: Switzerland vs. France

  • 3 p.m. ET, Friday, June 20 
  • CBC TV, streaming online at

What’s at stake

The Swiss won mere seconds before the last whistle in their first game, and the French waited 47 minutes to score their first goal.

Both want to try and control this game from the start. They are tied for the top of their group, though France has one more goal.

Impact players

Switzerland: Xherdan Shaqiri. This powerful midfielder got off to a rocky start in the first half against Ecuador. But he finished well, and remains one of the best Swiss players.

France: Karim Benzema. He scored two for France against Honduras, and is involved in pretty much every big play for Les Bleus.

What to watch for

Benezma was on fire against Honduras in an overall dominating performance by the European team.

It was the perfect way for France to get past their debacle of 2010. They want to keep that espirit de corps strong in this second match.

Both of Switzerland’s goals were scored by subs, with Admir Mehmedi scoring only two minutes after coming on the pitch. So who will manager Ottmar Hitzfeld start against France?

They said it

“It was a dream to win the match in the final minute like this. It created a lot of emotion and it will give us a lot of impetus for the next two matches.” — Hitzfeld speaking after his first match.

"I am not going to teach him how to dribble or hit the ball or pass. He knows how to do it, But when he gets that force from inside, that rage, it makes him even stronger." — French manager Didier Deschamps commenting on goal-scorer Benzema after their opening match.

The Big Number

36 - These teams have played each other 36 times, dating back to 1905. So they know each other very well, historically speaking at least.

Obligatory Fun Fact

This game will be the 250th World Cup match between European teams.


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