Eden Park will host Switzerland vs Spain, the first Round of 16 clash of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 on Friday. Switzerland finished top of Group A with five points to their name, while Spain finished runners-up in Group C behind Japan. Switzerland began their campaign with a 2-0 win over the Philippines, before frustrating Norway on Matchday Two to take a crucial point from a goalless clash. They played another 0-0 draw against New Zealand on Monday, securing their passage to the last 16. Switzerland are one of three teams yet to concede a goal in the tournament. They will be looking to produce another strong defensive performance on Saturday against the La Rojas.
Spain began the tournament in an impressive fashion after claiming a 3-0 win over Costa Rica in their tournament opener. Then they clinched a 5-0 win against Zambia on Matchday Two. Despite experiencing the majority of possession against Japan, it proved to be a forgettable evening for La Roja. Japan defeated Spain by 4-0 and they finished second on the table of Group C with 6 points.
The two teams have met three times. Spain have won twice and lost once while Switzerland have scored six goals against Spain and conceded eight. Switzerland have won once in their last five games. Spain have won four times in their last five games. Switzerland have won once and drawn four times in their last five games, while Spain have won four times and lost once in the same period.
Form: Switzerland: D-D-W-D-D; Spain: L-W-W-W-W
Switzerland boss Inka Grings could choose consistency and name an unchanged lineup for Saturday's last-16 tie. Noelle Maritz will start in central defence alongside Julia Stierli, while Eseosa Aigbogun and Nadine Riesen will feature as the two full-backs. Barcelona forward Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic will be hoping to score her first goal of the tournament when she features in a front three with Seraina Piubel and Ramona Bachmann.
For Spain, they will be hoping that Ivana Andres will be fit for Saturday's contest after missing the defeat to Japan through injury. Alexia Putellas started the final two group games, and the 29-year-old is all set to retain her place in midfield alongside Teresa Abelleira and Aitana Bonmati. Experienced forward Jenni Hermoso is set to lead the line, with Barcelona's Salma Paralluelo and Mariona Caldentey operating out wide.
Switzerland Women's possible starting lineup:
Thalmann; Aigbogun, Maritz, Stierli, Riesen; Sow, Walti, Reuteler; Piubel, Bachmann, Crnogorcevic
Spain Women's possible starting lineup:
Misa; Batlle, Paredes, Ivana, Carmona; Bonmati, Abelleira, Putellas; Paralluelo, Caldentey, Hermoso