Preview: Sweden vs Spain – prediction, team news, lineups
Sweden and Spain will return to international action on Thursday when they meet in qualifying for the World Cup.
The two nations are off to good starts in qualifying, while also entering the next round of matches after relatively impressive submissions at Euro 2020 in the summer as the visitors narrowly missed the semi-finals.
Sweden kicked off their World Cup qualification in March with a 1-0 win over Georgia as Viktor Claesson scored the only goal of the game, before scoring back-to-back victories with a 3-0 win in Kosovo thanks to goals by Ludwig Augustinsson, Alexander Isak, and Sebastian Larsson.
Having gotten off to a perfect start in the group, Janne Andersson’s team headed to the delayed Euro 2020 tournament with high hopes, scoring a point in the group opener as they held Spain to a goalless draw.
A 1-0 win over Slovakia and a 3-2 win over Poland saw Blagult overtake opponents on Thursday to first place in Group E, and they faced Ukraine in the round of 16, only to fall short in the last 16. last minutes of overtime. Emil Forsberg had canceled Oleksandr Zinchenko’s first match in the first half.
Despite the disappointment of a 2-1 first knockout round loss, Andersson’s men made notable strides in the summer tournament, and are now returning to action in hopes of continuing a strong Cup qualifying campaign. of the World in their bid to reach the competition next year. after reaching the quarterfinals in 2018.
They will face a Spanish team looking to build on a deep run in the European Championship with a victory to clearly move to the top of the qualifying group.
Luis Enrique’s men began their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 1-1 draw against Greece, before bouncing back with a 2-1 away win over Georgia as Dani Olmo scored a winning goal in injury time after Ferran Torres tied them.
They then achieved back-to-back victories by beating Kosovo 3-1, with Olmo and Torres back on the scoreboard before Gerard Moreno sealed the victory to take them to seven points from three games.
La Roja then entered Euro 2020 and, despite a slow start, secured qualification for the knockout stage with a 5-0 victory over Slovakia as Aymeric Laporte, Pablo Sarabia, and Torres found the net along with the own goals from Martin Dubravka and Juraj Kucka.
Enrique’s men met Croatia in the round of 16, and a late draw by Mario Pasalic kept them to a 3-3 draw after a dramatic encounter, but Álvaro Morata and Mikel Oyarzabal got on the scoreboard within 30 minutes. extra to fire your nation. up to the eight finalists.
Their clash with Switzerland also went into extra time after a 1-1 draw, and unchanged on the scoreboard, they advanced after a win on penalties when Oyarzabal scored the winning penalty.
For the third straight game, their semi-final tie with Italy ended tied after Morata’s draw in the 80th minute, and Enrique’s team fell short on penalties against eventual winners, but they undoubtedly delivered an impressive tally of themselves. themselves, as they had not been widely imagined before. the tournament.
Given that Sweden have played one less match in the qualifying group, Spain will be hoping to get a third straight group win to put some distance between them and the runner-up to strengthen their position for next year’s World Cup.
Sweden possible starting lineup:
Olsen; Lustig, Lindelof, Helander, Augustinsson; Larsson, Olsson, Ekdal, Forsberg; Isak, Kulusevski
Spain possible starting lineup:
Sanchez; Azpilicueta, Garcia, Laporte, Gaya; Busquets, Koke, Rodri; Torres, Morata, Moreno