GENEVA (AP) -- Pitting Switzerland against Lionel Messi and Argentina in an international friendly may not be as big of a mismatch as many would think.
Wednesday's game got a timely boost with FC Basel's emergence in the Champions League around a young group of homegrown players including Xherdan Shaqiri, Switzerland's version of Messi.
When the match was announced last August, Argentina was No. 9 in FIFA's rankings and Switzerland had slumped to No. 30 during a failed European Championship qualification campaign.
Now, the teams are ranked No. 11 and No. 16 ahead of the game at the Stade de Suisse in Bern.
Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld can call on five members of the Basel team which beat Bayern Munich 1-0 last week in a Champions League last-16 match.