WORLD: Friendly International
Time: 7:45 PM
Venue: Friends Arena (Solna)
A perfect start to their World Cup qualifying (WCQ) campaign (W2) sees Sweden sitting second in Group B behind Spain, although they have played one game less than their visitors (W2, D1). They’ll be hoping to leapfrog them with a win, but they’ve not defeated the Iberian nation since October 2006, drawing a blank in three of the five encounters since which includes a 0-0 draw between the two at Euro 2020.
A positive from that goalless clash back in June was that it was only the second time Sweden had secured a clean sheet against Spain across the last 13 H2H clashes. They’ve shut out their opponents on the day in three of their four clashes in 2021 on home soil too, therefore confidence coming into this one should be high.
Ranking ten places higher than their hosts in FIFA’s rankings (#7) is just one of the reasons Spain are warm favourites for the win. Another is that they stopped their Scandinavian opponents from registering a single shot on target in the last meeting. They might need another complete defensive masterclass here based on the fact they’ve only allowed four shots on their goal across their three WCQ fixtures so far, but conceded three goals!
Those goals haven’t proved too costly for the 2010 World Cup winners due to their efficiency in attack. They’ve scored at least once in their last 38 WCQ encounters, and not lost such a fixture since March 1993!
Players to watch: Emil Forsberg is already off the mark for RB Leipzig this season, and he’s netted five goals across his last five Swedish appearances – three arriving before HT. Ferran Torres bagged two goals and an assist in his most recent Man City appearance, and he also managed a goal and an assist playing for Spain in June.
- Sweden’s form in last 5 matches: DWWDW.
- Spain’s form in last 5 matches: DDDWD.