Switzerland will host Kosovo at the St. Jakob-Park on Saturday in another round of the 2024 European Championship qualifiers. The home side performed brilliantly at the start of the Euro qualifiers but have dropped off the pace in recent outings although they remain favorites to advance from Group I. They were held to a 1-1 draw by Israel in their last game and had looked set to be headed toward a narrow win following Ruben Vargas’ first-half strike before their opponents scored a late equalizer. Switzerland sit atop the Group I standings with 16 points from eight games. They will qualify for the final tournament next year with a win on Saturday while a draw could also suffice. Kosovo, meanwhile, have had mixed results in the qualifiers so far and while advancement to the final tournament remains a possibility, they need an extraordinary set of results elsewhere to do so. They beat Israel 1-0 in their last game, with Milot Rashica scoring the sole goal of the game late in the first half. The visitors sit fourth in their group with 10 points picked up so far. Failure to win on Saturday will end their chances of automatic qualification for the Euros. Saturday’s game will mark just the third meeting between Switzerland and Kosovo. The previous two matchups between the two nations have both ended in draws. Switzerland has scored 21 goals in the qualifiers so far. Only Portugal (32) have scored more. Kosovo has the second-best defensive record in Group I so far with a goal concession tally of eight. The A-Team was ranked 14th in the latest FIFA rankings and now sit 91 places above their weekend opponents. Switzerland is on a run of back-to-back draws and has now drawn four of their last five matches. They are undefeated in their last six games on home soil and will be looking to wrap up their qualification push in front of their home fans this week. Kosovo is on a run of back-to-back victories after going winless in their six games prior. They have, however, won just one of their last six away matches and could see defeat here. Prediction: Switzerland 3-1 Kosovo Tip 1 – Result: Switzerland to win Tip 2 – Goals – Over/under 2.5 – Over 2.5 goals (Eight of the hosts’ last nine matches have produced more than 2.5 goals) Tip 3 – Both teams to score: YES (Both sides have found the back of the net in five of the hosts’ last six matchups).
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