Form and Prospects
Blessed with arguably the easiest draw of any of the World Cup finalists, Switzerland duly qualified without losing any of their 10 group games against Iceland, Slovenia, Cyprus, Albania or Norway.
As an added bonus, their results lifted them into the top eight of the FIFA rankings and they will be among the seeded teams for the draw on December 6.
Flattering as those statistics maybe, Switzerland, who have successfully drawn on the large community of immigrants from the Balkans over the last few years, have plenty of reasons for believing they can at least reach the last sixteen.
Most of their players, such as Stephan Lichtsteiner and the Napoli trio of Gokhan Inler, Blerim Dzemaili and Valon Behrami, are playing for top Bundesliga and Serie A clubs and are experienced competitors at the very highest levels.
They are led by wily German Ottmar Hitzfeld, one of Europe's most successful coaches at club levels with seven Bundesliga and two Champions League titles to his name.
Many of their players are young, skilful and tenacious and, despite the Swiss reputation for being quiet and reserved, will not shy away from a confrontation as they showed in a feisty friendly win over Brazil in August.
Coach: Ottmar Hitzfeld
Ottmar Hitzfeld is one of only four coaches to have won the Champions League with two different clubs, having collected the title with both Borussia Dortmund in 1997 and Bayern Munich in 2001.
The German, who has been at the helm since 2008, has also won seven Bundesliga titles with the same two clubs, making him one of Europe's most successful coaches at club level.
Hitzfeld will be leading the Swiss to his second major tournament, having also been in charge at the 2010 World Cup where they bowed out in the first round despite a 1-0 win over eventual champions Spain in their opening match.
The 64-year-old has decided not to extend his contract and the tournament is likely to mark his swansong as a coach, leaving him to work as a television pundit in his native Germany.
Key Player: Xherdan Shaqiri
One of several Kosovo-born players in the Swiss team, he is a crowd pleaser who could easily have come off the Argentine production line of diminutive, dribbling specialists.
Squat and pugnacious, he can weave his way past defenders, thread incisive passes through opposing defences and score goals from distance with his left-foot.
Shaqiri was raised at FC Basel, making his professional debut as a 17-year-old and winning his first Swiss title the same season.
He moved to Bayern Munich last season and confounded predictions that he would be frozen out of the first team as he made decisive contributions whenever called upon, helping the Bavarians win an unprecedented treble.
How they qualified
Winners European Group E
World Cup record:
Previous World Cup appearances (9): 1934, 1938, 1950, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1994, 2006, 2010
Best performances: Quarter-finalists 1934, 1938, 1954