Day 6, Match 2
Spain vs. Switzerland, Group H
Date and Location
June 16, Durban Stadium, Durban
Live on CBC and CBCSports.ca (9:30 a.m. ET). Consult CBC's full broadcast schedule.
What's at stake
Spain's coming into the World Cup with its tails higher than anyone, with a dominating qualifying campaign following its masterful Euro 2008 victory. It is pretty safe to say that the Spaniards will do their best to get off on the right foot during their first step towards a possible World Cup title, while for the Swiss, it's all about survival.
Injuries and suspensions
No injury concerns for either team.
Player to watch for Spain
Xavi Hernandez — Known as the heartbeat of both FC Barcelona and Spain, the 30-year-old midfielder rarely, if ever, wastes possession. A visionary on the pitch, the midfielder is one of the best playmakers of his generation, able to conduct the pace of the game at his whim.
Player to watch for Switzerland
Alexander Frei — Switzerland's all-time scorer and captain, Frei's sharp finish in front of the net is crucial to his country's survival past the knockout rounds, given the team's struggle to find goals. A shortened club season due to injury could put his match fitness into question.
Philippe Senderos vs. Fernando Torres — The Swiss centre back Senderos knows Torres from their clashes in the English Premier League, and will have his hands full with the top-class striker. Look for Torres to use his speed to put Senderos on the back foot, which the Swiss will have to counter with his tackling strength.
"This squad's got more young players [than the Euro 2008 team], a few things have been tweaked, but the structure of the team remains intact. We've got plenty of football still in us, a lot of seasons still to play together and we've already won trophies. This team is a continuation of the previous one." — Striker David Villa
"We know that it is going to be a tough task, but we have chances. Spain also have weaknesses. Anything is possible in a match. If we were playing Spain over two legs, then it may be hard, but it is different over just 90 minutes." — Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld
World Cup head to head
Games played: 2
Spain: 2 wins, 0 losses, 0 draws
Switzerland: 0 wins, 2 losses, 0 draws
Goals: Spain 5, Switzerland 1
Last match: Before Spain fell to Italy in the quarter-finals in the 1994 World Cup, the side overwhelmed Switzerland in the round of 16, winning 3-0 at RFK Stadium in Washington.
All-time head to head
Games played: 18
Spain: 15 wins, 0 losses, 3 draws
Switzerland: 0 wins, 15 losses, 3 draws
Goals: Spain 45, Switzerland 15