Going forward, the attacking structure Wales are likely to use can be seen below. Daniel James will look to keep the width on the left flank, while Neco Williams will be expected to go forward in an attempt to overload the Swiss wingback, Kevin Mbabu. Should Wales succeed in overloading the right flank, Swiss defender Nico Elvedi will be expected to shuttle to the right side to help with defending.
By having play focused on the right flank, forcing a shift from the Swiss, forwards Harry Wilson and Gareth Bale will target the isolated Manuel Akanji. Bale will start on the right hand side but will be expected to cut inside and overwhelm the Swiss central defenders.
Switzerland will defend in a 5-3-2 out of possession, with emphasis on keeping the central areas compact, cutting off service to Aaron Ramsey. Haris Seferovic and Mario Gavranovic are expected to start, meaning that natural width will come from the wingbacks. This may prove to be problematic for the Swiss during transitional phases as Wales are given plenty of time to recover from attack to defense as there is unlikely to be a wide player attacking the space left behind the advancing wingbacks in Neco Williams and Connor Roberts.
The Swiss attacking structure can be seen below. With no traditional wingers expected to play, width will come from the wide areas. Mbabu versus Williams and Roberts versus Rodriguez will prove to be crucial individual battles as this is where Switzerland are strongest and where Wales are weakest. Seferovic and Gavranovic will remain central with the idea of overwhelming Joe Rodon who is likely the central centre-back that is starting this game.
Denmark are one of the dark horses for this tournament, and for good reasons. Schmeichel, Christensen, and Eriksen have all won prestigious trophies this season and are surrounded by quality players in their own respect. Below is how Denmark will attack Finland. Maehle will provide width on the left like he does so well for Atalanta, while Wass and Poulsen can be expected to overwhelm and outnumber the Finnish left wingback.
Eriksen will be Denmark’s main creator and thus will likely be the target of heavy Finnish pressing, marking and tackling. Finland can be expected to defend in a 5-3-2 that doesn't look to impress much on the counter, and will likely choose to give up possession in an attempt to not lose.
It’s hard to say where Finland will create chances from in this game. Their attacking structure, as seen below, does not do them many favours. Left wingback Raitala will not be expected to advance as much as his right sided teammate Uronen, meaning that Denmark will always know which side to defend the most, if needed. Teemu Pukki will lead the line but, despite his cult hero status amongst football fans, he will not be expected to grab as many goals as easily as he does for Norwich.
Belgium seem to be the favourites of every tournament they’ve participated in for the past 12 years, yet consistently let themselves down. With Kevin de Bruyne likely to start on the bench, chances will likely come from the left side through Carrasco and Thorgan Hazard, while Tielemens can be expected to be the creator centrally. Without de Bruyne, Belgium do lack natural creativity as the system in which they play is rather conservative in chance creation.
Belgium has always been weak in the fullback position, being forced to play wingers as wingbacks instead. Lukaku will lead the line for Belgium and will almost certainly win his individual battles. With the absence of de Bruyne, Lukaku may be expected to drop deeper into midfield during build up phases of play like he does for his club Inter, in order to help penetrate what is expected to be a very rigid and workman-like low block from Russia.
Russia will likely rely on counter-attacks and the pace of Golovin and Fernandes to attack the space left behind the Belgium wingbacks. If given time in possession, Russia will attempt to attack the space between Jason Denayer and Vertonghen with their towering forward Dzyuba and the more technical Golovin.
This space is likely the largest weakness for Belgium but it’s questionable if Russia can exploit this. Belgium are able to counter-attack quite easily through Carrasco, T. Hazard and Dries Mertens attacking the space by Russia’s own fullbacks, so expect a very conservative game from Russia.
Denmark vs Finland and Belgium vs Russia seem to be the most intriguing games tactically on June 12th, while Wales vs Switzerland does have potential for a Welsh upset. Our favorite match to watch will be Denmark vs Finland as Denmark have largely gone under the radar as one of the more exciting international teams to watch that aren’t outright favorites for the tournament.
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I’m a Canadian soccer/football coach and analyst with a bias towards Manchester City. Follow me on twitter for more football content @CamH___