; Preview: Switzerland vs Costa Rica – The Citizen

Preview: Switzerland vs Costa Rica

The Adidas Telstar 18, the official ball of the tournament, is pictured ahead of the Costa Rica's press conference at the Samara Arena in Samara on June 16, 2018 on the eve of the Russia 2018 World Cup Group E football match between Costa Rica and Serbia. / AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANA

The Adidas Telstar 18, the official ball of the tournament, is pictured ahead of the Costa Rica's press conference at the Samara Arena in Samara on June 16, 2018 on the eve of the Russia 2018 World Cup Group E football match between Costa Rica and Serbia. / AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANA

Switzerland know they only need a draw against already-eliminated Costa Rica in order to reach the last 16 of the World Cup.

The Swiss’ last-gasp 2-1 victory over Serbia last time out leaves them in an enviable position and they will start hot favourites to reach the knockout stage.

Even if they lose, they will still qualify if Brazil beat the Serbs in Wednesday’s other Group E game.

Their hopes of gaining the result they require have been boosted by the news that FIFA have opted to fine, rather than ban, three of their players for making political gestures during their win over Serbia.

Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and Stephan Lichtsteiner all made ‘eagle’ signs with their hands, symbolising the Albanian flag. FIFA deemed this “unsporting behaviour” and duly issued the fines.

With the Swiss having fought back from a goal down to beat Serbia – they also recovered a deficit to draw 1-1 with Brazil – Gelson Fernandes wants the team to show they can be front-runners against the Costa Ricans, who failed to score in losing to both Brazil and Serbia.

The midfielder said: “We’ve shown here at the World Cup that we can come back within games. But now is the time to take the lead in one. And in the end the main thing is that it finishes with a Swiss victory, of course.”

Costa Rica lost 2-0 to Brazil in their last game but both goals came in stoppage time.

The result has left them with little but pride to play for in this match.

Full-back Christian Gamboa said: “We are expecting a very complicated game.

“Switzerland are going for qualification and they are going to give everything for the result they need.”

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