Switzerland, Togo set to clash

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:34 IST

There are more similarities than one might expect between the Swiss and Togo squad, which face each other in a crucial Group G World Cup match on Monday.

Switzerland, Togo set to clash

Dortmund:

There are more similarities than one might expect between the Swiss and Togo squad, which face each other in a crucial Group G World Cup match on Monday. Swiss coach Koebi Kuhn and Togo's German coach Otto Pfister are longtime friends. Switzerland, which reached the World Cup after a 12-year absence and held France to a 0-0 draw in its opener, is looking for a victory to ease its way into the second round. "It's quite rare for us to be seen as the favorite, but the team can deal with it,'' said Kuhn said. Surprise qualifier Togo, one of the surprise African qualifiers and the lowest ranked team in the tournament, is fighting for survival after losing 2-1 to South Korea. "For Togo it's the last chance. We are an outsider, that's clear," said Pfister. Togo has one advantage compared to its match against South Korea. Its management upheavals, which saw Pfister storm out for three days and return just hours before the match, have subsided. Its big disadvantage is that veteran captain Jean-Paul Abalo, a vital stabilizing factor, is serving a one-match suspension for a red card. Defender Ludovic Assemoassa also is out because of an injury. "I don't know how we are going to play and if we will play differently,'' said striker Emmanuel Adebayor. Magnin to be fit Swiss defender Ludovic Magnin is expected to be fit after suffering a few bruises and sprains against France, but defender Valon Behrami looks doubtful because of a groin strain. Switzerland's biggest enemy may well be the heat of the afternoon match. But, as usual, they are prepared. Team doctor Rudolf Roder said he is considering giving the players "cooling vests'' even before the game, not just during the break, as he did in the early evening match against France. Kuhn said he wanted a faster game than against France. This time around, the young, ambitious squad is hoping for more clear scoring chances against Togo's weakened defense, but are under no illusions about the challenges. (AP)

Topics : Football Cricket
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