Sweden vs Slovakia EURO LIVE Football Score 18 June 2021
weden had a good start at the European Championships, preventing themselves from beating Spain in Seville. The Swedes will next play in St. Petersburg against Slovakia, who in turn beat Poland in the first round. How will the upcoming meeting play out? Here are a few bets on the second round match in Group E.
Sweden are predictable, but that doesn’t make it any easier for their opponents
Tre Kronor know their strengths and weaknesses very well. A seemingly simple thing, but only experienced teams have such knowledge. The Swedes are like that. Euro 2020 is the second tournament that the team plays under the leadership of Janne Andersson and with approximately the same squad. At the World Cup in Russia, Sweden made it to the quarter-finals, placing them among the top eight national teams on the planet.
The formation, which brought success at the World Cup, is still used by the Swedes. They organise their defence and count on sparkling counterattacks. Against Spain, Andersson’s men gave the ball to their opponent and pressed the Spaniards tightly only in the last third, at their own goal. The possession percentage at the end of the game was 25-75, not in favour of the Swedes. But, as you know, possession alone does not guarantee success. The Spaniards were near Robin Olsen’s goal just a couple of times, but even they were not 100% dangerous. At the same time, the Swedes had two very dangerous runs towards the Spanish goal when forward Alexander Isak made one of his passes, after Marcos Llorente’s leg hit the post, while Unai Simon had already kept the ball. The Swedes could have won in Sevilla.
The return of Dejan Kulusevski should be a big help in the run-up to the next games for Sweden. The Juventus attacking midfielder missed the game against Spain because of a coronavirus, but he can help his side in the game against Slovakia.
Slovakia close to the play-offs
Before the Euro, all the bookmakers regarded Slovakia as the clear underdog in Group E. However, Stefan Tarkovic’s team showed its class in the first round. In St Petersburg, the Polish national team were thrashed 2-1. The winning goal was scored by the team’s two main stars. Marek Hamšík crossed the ball, and Milan Škriniar netted it.
Gamšík understandably, his experience is sure to serve the Slovaks well at this Euro. Skriniar’s star is just rising. All the more reason to appreciate the level of football that the 26-year-old Inter Milan defender showed against Poland. The winning goal was, of course, memorable, but it was the icing on the cake. Skriniar’s main goal, however, was neutralising Robert Lewandowski. The Bayern forward had nothing to offer to the Slovaks, who had built a competent defence against him. The three points scored noticeably improved the Slovakian’s chances of qualifying from the group. Given the Euro 2020 format, and specifically the possibility of qualifying for the play-offs from third place, even three points might be enough for the Slovaks.
Why you should back Sweden
Sweden is 3-0-2 all-time against Slovakia, dating back to May 1996. The Swedes received good news this week when winger Dejan Kulusevski and midfielder Mattias Svanberg tested negative for COVID-19 and will be allowed to rejoin the team after missing the game against Spain. Kulusevski gives Sweden some firepower when he is in the lineup, and has 17 goals in 89 professional appearances for Atalanta, Parma and Juventus. The 21-year-old has one goal in 13 appearances for Sweden.
Forward Marcus Berg, 34, has also given the Swedes consistent offense, and registered two goals in three friendlies prior to the tournament. His goal in the fourth minute helped Sweden post a 1-0 win over Estonia in a March 31 friendly. In 87 appearances for the Swedes, he has posted 24 goals. This past season, Berg played for Krasnodar of the Russian Premier League and scored nine goals in 15 appearances.
Why you should back Slovakia
Slovakia pulled off a stunner in the opener by downing a heavily-favored Polish side, but will again face stiff competition against Sweden. Slovakia, however, has been on quite a roll since the start of the year, going 2-0-4 since March 24. Slovakia is 4-1-4 since defeating Northern Ireland 2-1 in UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying on Nov. 12. In a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Russia on March 30, Slovakia got goals from Milan Skriniar and Robert Mak to pull off a 2-1 victory.
Skriniar has been a big part of Slovakia’s success. Besides scoring what proved to be the winning goal against Poland on Monday, he has registered three goals in the past five matches as a defender. The 26-year-old has played in 41 matches overall for Slovakia, scoring three goals. In his 10-year career he has played for four club teams, including Inter Milan of Serie A the past four seasons. In 306 career appearances, he has recorded 21 goals.
- This is the first meeting between Sweden and Slovakia at a major tournament.
- The most recent encounter was a 1-1 draw in a friendly in October 2018.
- Sweden are unbeaten in all five of their previous games against Slovakia (W2, D3).
- The Swedes won 6-0 in a friendly in Abu Dhabi in January 2017.
- Sweden had won their previous five games before their goalless draw against Spain.
- They have lost their second group stage game at each of their last four major tournaments, although those were against Spain, England, Italy and Germany.
- The Swedes have failed to score in their last three European Championship matches (versus Italy, Belgium and Spain).
- Slovakia are unbeaten in their last six games (W2, D4), their longest unbeaten run since June 2016.
- They did not have a single shot after scoring their second goal in the 69th minute of their 2-1 win over Poland, despite playing against 10 men.
- Defender Milan Skriniar has scored three goals in his last four appearances for Slovakia, after failing to score in his first 37 international appearances.
- As well as scoring the winning goal, Skriniar had the most touches (69) and made the most clearances (10) and blocks (two) against Poland.