EUROPE: Euro

Date: 29-06-21

Time: 8:00 PM

Venue: Hampden Park (Glasgow)

A 94th minute Viktor Claesson strike was enough to help Sweden not only defeat Poland 3-2 in their final group E match, but also secure top spot heading into their first knockout round appearance at the Euros since 2004. Janne Andersson’s men will meet Ukraine for just the fifth time (W1, D1, L2), with opposition manager Andriy Shevchenko neting a brace in the most recent H2H when Swedish hopes were dashed at Euro 2012.

This Swedish side is a more resilient outfit though, conceding an average of just 0.38 goals across their last eight internationals. In fact, six clean sheets have been kept across that stint, including two in the group stages versus Spain and Slovakia. Meanwhile, ‘Blågult’ scored with 50% of their shots on target through the group stage (4 of 8), the joint-best such conversion rate in the competition with Portugal which will leave their opposition worried here.

Squeaking through as the fourth ‘third-best’ side on goal difference, Ukraine will be looking for victory in their first-ever Euros knockout round appearance as an independent nation. Shevchenko’s side will need to drastically improve though, as his team looked shaky defensively in the group stages (W1, L2) whilst their overall return of just two wins from nine matches at European Championships finals fails to inspire.

Showing indifferent form over their last nine internationals (W3, D4, L2), Ukraine at least provide entertainment whenever they play, highlighted by both teams scoring in six of those fixtures. Here, they’ll be reliant once again on the nation’s strong strike force that has returned 1.44 goals per fixture over that spell.

Players to watch: Scorer of the second fastest goal in Euros history last time out, Sweden’s Emil Forsberg now has four strikes across his last four international appearances – two arriving before the 20th minute. Equally, Ukraine’s Andriy Yarmolenko has also been in fantastic form at Euro 2020, scoring twice and assisting once.

Recent Stats:

  • Sweden’s form in last 5 matches: WWDWW.
  • Ukraine’s form in last 5 matches: LWLWW.

PREDICTION: Home/Away

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