Responsible for the ouster of Italy from the World Cup finals for the first time since 1958, Sweden’s unpredictability makes them a dangerous team in Russia. While it would take a huge effort to prevent Germany from winning the group, the likes of Marcus Berg, Emil Forsberg, Sebastian Larsson and the rest have what it takes to progress to the Round of 16.
○ Goalkeepers: Karl-Johan Johnsson, Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Robin Olsen;
○ Defenders: Ludwig Augustinsson, Andreas Granqvist, Filip Helander, Pontus Jansson, Emil Krafth, Mikael Lustig, Victor, Martin Olsson;
○ Midfielders: Viktor Claesson, Jimmy Durmaz, Albin Ekdal, Emil Forsberg, Oscar Hiljemark, Sebastian Larsson, Marcus Rohden, Gustav Svensson;
○ Forwards: Marcus Berg, John Guidetti, Isaac Kiese Thelin, Ola Toivonen.
●Past Records In World Cup:
○ No. of times team has played in WC (number): 11
○ No. of matches played (number): 46
○ No. of matches won: 16
○ No. of matches lost: 17
○No. of times lost in finals (Number): 1
(1958, lost to Brazil in homesoil)
○ No. of times world cup won (number): 0
○ No. of goals scored in WC: 74
● Probable Starting XI :
○ Formation: 4-4-2
Mikael Lustig, Victor Nilsson-Lindelof, Andreas Granqvist, Martin Olsson
J Dumaz, O Hilijemark, A Ekdal, E. Forsberg
M Berg, O. Toivonen
● Squad Analysis :
The squad looks thin and shallow on quality, meaning their manager, Janne Andersson, prefers to play a 4-4-2 formation to get as many players involved in attacking moves as possible.
Sweden have struggled to score goals and drew blanks against Denmark and Romania in friendlies. Ola Toivonen no longer makes the first team at Toulouse, Marcus Berg plays in the United Arab Emirates, Isaac Kiese-Thelin has been doing okay in the Belgian league, and John Guidetti has just one international goal to his name. Sweden have a big attacking problem.
Players to watch out for
Victor Lindelof: The out of favour Manchester United defender suffered a forgetful first season at Old Trafford having played a role in the team conceding goals early on in the season. The 23-year-old will be raring to prove himself at the international level.
• Emil Forsberg: Forsberg will undoubtedly be Sweden’s go-to-man at the World Cup this year. The 26-year-old’s ability to create for his teammates will be pivotal to Sweden’s campaign. The RB Leipzig man will be Sweden’s finest offering.
● Manager’s Quote :
Janne Andersson, the man in charge is known for not talking too much but he did break his silence over Zlatan’s retirement April, saying in an interview: “If you rejected the team, I do not think you should come back.”
● Writer’s Take :
With drawn against defending champions and one of the favourites Germany and Mexico and South Korea , likely the have to fight for the 2nd place with Mexico. The match against Mexico will be very cruicial for them, if they can pull of a win against South Korea as well, there might be a chance of going into Ro16. But with 4-4-2, their predictable playing style it is quite difficult .