MX23RW : Monday, August 8 21:39:31| >> :600:1258483:1258483:
[monks data]
Jun 23, 2021 at 5pm UK at Aviva Stadium
Sweden
3 - 2
Poland
Forsberg (2', 59'), Claesson (90+4')
Danielsson (10')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Lewandowski (61', 84')
Krychowiak (74'), Glik (83')

Preview: Sweden vs. Poland - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's European Championship clash between Sweden and Poland, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

In the final round of an intriguing Group E at Euro 2020, leaders Sweden seek to secure the point that would see them through to the knockout stages on Wednesday, as they meet Poland in St Petersburg.

Though the Swedes will progress if they simply avoid defeat, their opponents must win to snatch a place in the top two, having picked up a solitary point from their first two games.


Match preview

Sweden's Emil Forsberg celebrates scoring their first goal against Slovakia at Euro 2020 on June 18, 2021© Reuters

By virtue of two characteristically gritty performances in the opening rounds, Sweden are guaranteed to get through to the knockout phase of a European Championship for the first time since reaching the quarter-finals 17 years ago, if they can hold Poland to a draw at the Krestovsky Stadium.

However, should Janne Andersson's men lose and the other match - between Spain and Slovakia - end in a draw, they could theoretically miss out. Realistically, though, heading the group with four points - having followed up their opening goalless draw against Spain with a 1-0 defeat of Slovakia last time out - means that the pressure is off ahead of the game.

Currently competing at their sixth successive continental finals, the Blagult's success last week may have been only the second victory in their last ten outings at the Euros, but it also extended a calendar-year unbeaten run to seven games and counting.

Though it was RB Leipzig midfielder Emil Forsberg who dispatched the winning penalty late on, substitute Robin Quaison also played a key part in Sweden's hard-fought win - forcing that spot-kick soon after coming off the bench - while Alexander Isak was named Star of the Match by UEFA after previously shining brightly and striking the post against Spain.

The youngest ever player to score a senior international goal for the Nordic nation, Isak has so far stepped up to the challenge of deputising for Sweden's totemic talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was ruled out this summer through injury, with serene ease.

On Wednesday, it will again be the young striker's task to break down the opposition defence, as Andersson's side aim to qualify by finishing as group winners, which would earn them a last-16 date with one of the third-placed nations.

Poland's Robert Lewandowski celebrates scoring against Spain at Euro 2020 on June 19, 2021© Reuters

Keeping his nation's hopes alive, Robert Lewandowski became the first Poland player to score in three European Championships with his brilliant headed equaliser in Saturday's 1-1 draw against group favourites Spain, having previously managed one goal in each of the last two tournaments.

The Bayern Munich striker's 67th goal in 121 international appearances - both national records - helped the Eagles to salvage their first point of the finals, but their results so far still leave them with much work to do.

An opening 2-1 defeat by Slovakia and that determined draw against Spain mean that head coach Paulo Sousa's run of games without a win has extended to five, with just one victory recorded in their last nine matches - a routine 3-0 win at home to Andorra in March. The tactical tinkering of the Portuguese manager has proved problematic since his appointment in place of previous boss Jerzy Brzeczek earlier this year, which came after the latter had steered the team safely through qualifying.

Nevertheless, as Spain currently sit third in the standings with two points - while the Poles are a point further back - Sousa and company will go through in second place if they can turn over Sweden and the other Group E game is not drawn. In fact, if Poland win and the Spain-Slovakia fixture does end in a draw, they can even win the tightly-fought section.

Currently at their fourth successive finals, the Eagles had never before won a match at the Euros until they advanced to the last eight for the first time five years ago, in France. To stay in with a chance of replicating that achievement this time around, they will need to overturn precedent against a stubborn Swedish side, as this will be the nations' 27th meeting - with their opponents having won 14, including the last five.

Sweden European Championship form:
  • D
  • W

Sweden form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

Poland European Championship form:
  • L
  • D

Poland form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D



Team News

Poland midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak in action during an international friendly with Lithuania on June 12, 2018© Reuters

Ahead of a crucial 90 minutes for Poland, they will be buoyed by the return of midfield lynchpin Grzegorz Krychowiak from suspension, after he missed the draw with Spain due to being sent off in the opening game.

Either Leeds United's Mateusz Klich or Jakub Moder - who has been struggling with a knee problem - is therefore likely to make way, with Piotr Zielinski set to continue as the link man between midfield and attack.

At the weekend, Kacper Kozlowski became - at the age of 17 years and 246 days - the youngest ever participant at a European Championship finals when he came off the bench against Spain: a record that had been set just a week earlier by England's Jude Bellingham. The Pogon Szczecin starlet is again poised to make an impact as a second-half substitute.

With the two most favoured strike partners for captain Robert Lewandowski - both Krzysztof Piatek and Arkadiusz Milik - being ruled out of action before a ball was kicked in this summer's main event, Karol Swiderski is once more set to start as part of the Polish front pairing in a 3-5-2 formation.

Sweden, meanwhile, were unchanged from their backs-to-the-wall opening draw last time out, and should retain the bulk of the first XI again on Wednesday.

Only Mainz forward Robin Quaison will replace veteran target man Marcus Berg in the lineup, with Janne Andersson sending his team out in their tried and tested 4-4-2 formation; Quaison joining Alexander Isak up front.

Last week, both Dejan Kulusevski and Mattias Svanberg were cleared to return to action after self-isolating with COVID-19, and the former is another strong contender to make an impact in the forward line if afforded the chance.

Sweden possible starting lineup:
Olsen; Lustig, Lindelof, Danielson, Augustinsson; S. Larsson, Olsson, Ekdal, Forsberg; Isak, Berg

Poland possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; Bereszynski, Bednarek, Glik; Jozwiak, Klich, Krychowiak, Zielinski, Puchacz; Swiderski, Lewandowski


SM words green background

We say: Sweden 1-1 Poland

Though both sides are often prosaic in their approach, Poland's growing confidence and greater desire to seal the win should prove enough to crack a resolute Sweden rearguard.

Nevertheless, the Swedes are a tough defensive proposition and have barely lost in recent months for good reason - so their handful of attacking talents can help snatch a point on the counter; confirming progress to the next stage.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


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How you voted: Sweden vs Polvs

Sweden
46.8%
Draw
22.9%
Poland
30.3%
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Robert Lewandowski in action for Poland on June 8, 2021
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Poland Euro 2020 preview - prediction, fixtures, squad, star player
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