The fourth day of Euro 2021 kick starts today with an entertaining clash between Spain and Sweden at Benito Villamarin Stadium.
Spain is looking to bounce back from their recent failures at the biggest international stages. Sweden, meanwhile is hoping to make a big step toward qualification from the group stage by a win against their hosts today.
The two teams were in the same group in the qualification rounds, where Spain beat Sweden 3-0 at home, before drawing 1-1 in the away game. They will be competing for a place at the knock-out stage alongsidePoland
and Slovakia in Group E.
Despite the quality of their squad, Spain's has lost its form coming into the tournament. They lost their captain,Sergio Bouquets
after he tested positive for Covid-19. As a result the whole team went into a quarantine and has not been able to train properly before the tournament.
It’s a different story with Sweden as they have entered the competition with high spirits after a run of five wins and one draw in their last six games. They too lost their charismatic veteran striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic who just came out of international retirement before the tournament, only to be ruled out because of an injury.
However, History has shown that the team's performances on the big stages cannot be judged by their recent results and either teams will be keen on showing their best version in today's game.
qualified for Euro 2020 comfortably after winning their group (ahead of Sweden, Norway and Romania) with 26 points from 10 games. Their best result was a 7-0 win against Malta and their only two draws were against Sweden (1-1) and Norway (1-1).
In the absence of Sergio Bouquets, his Barcelona team mate, Jordi Alba will captain the team. However, all eyes will be on their two most talented youngsters, Ferran Torres andPedri Gonzalez
The 18-years old Pedri played over 50 games for Barcelona last season and Ferran Torres has become a real attacking threat for Spain after netting as many as six goals in just 11 caps for his country.
Spain's coach, Luis Enrique highlighted the importance of winning the first game in the press conference before the game.
"The first game can serve for generating confidence, seeing how much the competition means to us, and if you win in a way that shows your qualities then that’s a great way to start."
qualified for the tournament after finishing second in their group with 21 points from 10 games, five points behind leaders Spain and four points ahead of Norway (17). Their best results were two 4-0 wins against Malta and the Faroe Islands, while their only defeat was against Spain in Madrid.
Manchester United's defender,Victor Lindelof
is expected to lead the team from the back, while Liepzig's winger, Emil Forsberg and the veteran striker, Marcus Berg will shoulder the responsibility of producing goal opportunities.
Andersson' said in the pre-match press conference that his team is not afraid of the challenge of facing two-time winners, Spain and is aiming to make life hard for their hosts.
We have threatened them in the past. We know that if we can get everything to click, we absolutely have a chance on Monday.
Spain have been unbeaten in their last seven games. Their last defeat was by a solitary goal against Ukraine back in October 2020 at UEFA Nations League. The Matadors were especially praised for the tactical masterpiece in the 6-1 demolition ofGermany
in December 2020, but since then they have lost some of their magic and have gone on a run of 3 wins and 3 draws in their last six games.
Spain possible starting lineup:
Unai Simon, Azpilicueta, Laporte, Pau Torres, Alba, Llorente, Rodri, Pedri, Gerard Moreno, Morata and Ferran Torres
Janne Andersson's players have been on a very good form lately. They have won five of their recent six games, the best of them was a 3-0 win againstFinland
. They put on a good performance in their last defeat, a 4-2 loss against mighty France at the Nations League.
Sweden possible starting lineup:
Olsen, Lustig, Lindelof, Danielson, Augustinsson, S. Larsson, Ekdal, Olsson, Forsberg, Isak and Berg
The two teams have played 14 times against each other across all competitions, with Spain winning 6 of them to Sweden's 5 wins. Their first ever encounter was in the 1950 World Cup, where Sweden won 3-1. Their last game was in Euro 2012 qualifiers which ended in a 1-1 draw. Spain's best ever win against their today's opponents was a 4-0 win in a friendly back in 1998, while Sweden has beaten Spain 3-1 twice in their history.
Spain and Sweden shared the points the last time they faced each other. A draw this time would do them little good as they are expected to battle out Poland for the first place of the group. Spain are favorites to win the game, especially since they are playing at home, but Sweden is no easy rival and their physical approach can make it very hard for the Matadors. Spain has not lost at home in the past three years. Our guess in a narrow win for Spain.
The famous Slovenian referee, Slavko Vincic will be the referee for the game. Tomaz Klancnik and Andraz Kovacic will be his assistants. Bastian Dankert of Germany is appointed as the Video Assistant Referee while Davide Massa ofItaly
will be the fourth referee of the game.
Date: Monday, June 14
Kick off Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Benito Villamarin Stadium, Sevilla, Barcelona
TV: ESPN and TUDN
Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Odds: Spain -285; Draw +360; Sweden +950 (via William Hill Sportsbook)