By Jed Woodcock (Romania) & Matt Cowdock (Switzerland)
Romania (Jed Woodcock)
How I will watch it
The train now approaching the Swiss goal is the 17:27 Florin Andone for Romania.
Please mind the gap between the keepers reach and the crossbar. This is Parc des Princes. Score here for pride and victory. The next stop is Stade des Lumieres. This is a Tricolorii line service to the Euro 2016 knockout stages.
My daily commute home from work on the Piccadilly Line will see me miss the majority of this game which could see Romania’s hopes all but erased whilst Switzerland could become the first team to qualify for the next round of Euros.
Thankfully, my Romanian cat, Oswald will update me when I get home.
Last match recap
The opening game of the tournament was going so well for my Romania. More than matching the tournament favourites at 1-1 with just minutes left on the clock. Then Payet happened.
Arguably man of the match Payet scored a stunning strike to send the Stade de France into raptures. He picked up the ball 30 yards out, looked up and unleashed a spectacular drive which arrowed into the top corner of the Romanian net.
A respectable loss – but a loss nonetheless. I was impressed by the Romania side as a whole. They caused France a lot of problems and France are a great side.
The team played admirably and need to keep their heads up as they go on to face Switzerland and Albania in their remaining group games. Now, we will see how they come into the second game whether they are able to match the levels they put in the first.
Prediction: Romania 3 – 1 Switzerland
An interesting contest in the match will be on the wings of the pitch. If Razran Rat plays he will have a tough task to contain Shaqiri and the pace of Popa and Torje should prove more than a match for Lichsteiner and Rodriguez.
My Romanians were crestfallen because of Payet, but I predict jubilant scenes in Paris tonight. Andone, Torje and Stanciu will get a goal apiece whilst Shaqiri will grab a goal for the Swiss.
Switzerland (Matt Cowdock)
Last match recap
Switzerland’s first outing against Albania resulted in a 1-0 victory. The scoreline was probably about right in the end — Fabian Schär’s header five minutes in did put pay to any Albanian hopes but it wasn’t plain sailing at all. Indeed, Albania wasted chance after chance and even after their captain, Lorik Cana, was sent off for a second bookable offence, the pressure they put on the Swiss defence didn’t subside.
Johan Djourou looked at his calamitous best, while Albanian full-back Erik Hysaj posed a threat down the right. Perhaps most worryingly for the Swiss, first choice striker Haris Seferovic looked woefully out of touch as he missed plenty of golden opportunities.
There was a reasonably amount to be cheerful about for Switzerland, however. Xherdan Shaqiri wriggled free with ease from the staunch Albanian defenders while young Breel Embolo increased the Swiss fluidity on the flank when he came on and will be hopeful of dethroning the hapless Seferovic when they meet Romania in their next game.
How I will watch it
I start a new job on Wednesday but luckily enough the working day ends at 5, so I’ll be hoping to scurry out the door and into one of the many sports pubs which Brighton boasts.
If I’m able to stage an escape from work, there’ll be no shortage of options. The Franklin Arms lies just down the road and could potentially offer me an outlet should I be pressed for time, while the King and Queen is a little further afield but is a favourite of mine given the large array of drinks on tap. Moreover, there are ample screens both big and small meaning that, barring a quick trip to the toilet, you won’t miss a beat.
Prediction: Romania 1 – 2 Switzerland
I think it’s unlikely Seferovic will start again, but the ever-bumbling Djourou probably will. Romania posed a threat against France and will do so again, but I’d expect Switzerland to just have enough to creep past them.