Switzerland are heading into a new era under Vladimir Petkovic

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With the security of Roy Hodgson’s position as England manager dominating the pre-match discussion ahead of Monday's qualifier, it is very easy to forget that Switzerland are embarking on a new period in their footballing history.

After six years in charge - a time in which he enhanced the careers of several young Swiss players -  - the legendary Ottmar Hitzfeld has retired.

New boss

The task for this match and for the seemingly straightforward one of qualifying for Euro 2016 has been assigned to Vladimir Petkovic, a man who built his reputation in the Swiss domestic leagues and most recently at Lazio.

Famed for using the 3-4-3 formation during his three years with Young Boys of Bern, he was appointed as head coach of the Serie A outfit after a brief stint as manager of Turkish side Samsunspor.

In his first season in Italy he won the Coppa Italia and for the majority of his reign set up in a defensively orientated 4-4-1-1 system. Whether he will return to 3-4-3 against England on Monday remains to be seen.

Impressive World Cup showing

He inherits a team that has been steadily progressing over a number of years. Many were impressed by Switzerland's showing at the World Cup. Despite conceding five against the French, they gained many admirers after taking Argentina to the brink of penalties, only to succumb to an Angel di Maria goal a few minutes from time.

Their squad also contains a couple of players who are expected to develop into world-class performers. The obvious one is Bayern Munich’s Xherdan Shaqiri, a skilful winger who possesses a low centre of gravity and bags of pace.

Much was expected of him following his move to Germany, but after being used sparingly by both Jupp Heynckes and Pep Guardiola, his career is in danger of stalling.

Another talent is Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka, a domineering player with a cultured left foot who will certainly be the man England must prevent from dictating the play.

Defenders Fabian Schar and Ricardo Rodriguez have both performed well in recent games, with Schar looking to cement his place ahead of the ageing Philippe Senderos and Steve von Bergen.

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Goalkeeping change

A notable change to the first team will be in goal as usual first-choice 'keeper Diego Benaglio retired from international football following the World Cup. His replacement will be former Basle stopper Yann Sommer.

After many impressive performances in European competition for Basle, Borussia Mönchengladbach signed the 25-year-old in the summer.

What Switzerland lack is a top-class striker. The goalscoring burden is likely to be heaped on new Bayer Leverkusen man Josip Drmic, who scored 17 in 33 appearances for Nurnberg last season.

With a mixture of youth and experience to choose from, the Swiss have risen to ninth in the FIFA world rankings and Petkovic will be hoping to continue this progression whilst implementing his own philosophy.

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