MX23RW : Thursday, June 24 22:16:38| >> :120:38134:38134:
Nov 14, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at Friends Arena
SwedenSweden
2-1
CroatiaCroatia
Kulusevski (36'), Danielsson (45+2')
Ekdal (86')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Danielsson (82' og.)
Caleta-Car (35'), Brekalo (68')

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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Nations League clash between Sweden and Croatia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Sweden and Croatia square off in the UEFA Nations League on Saturday evening already knowing that they are both out of contention for a place in next year's Finals.

However, Croatia cannot be relegated to Group B if they avoid defeat in Stockholm, putting the pressure on the home side to push for maximum points.


Match preview

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic reacts during the match against Argentina on June 21, 2018© Reuters

Despite being drawn in a group involving the current world and European champions, Sweden and Croatia would have felt that they were capable of causing a few surprises in League A Group 3.

However, that is not how it has panned out for the two nations, who have lost each of their fixtures to France and Portugal to leave them out of contention with two matches remaining.

Instead, Croatia make the trip to Stockholm looking to claim the point which would guarantee third spot, a scenario made possible by their late 2-1 victory over Sweden in Zagreb.

Although manager Zlatko Dalic would ideally prefer to push for victory, the Croatia boss will want to ensure that his players are not left relying on gaining a result at home to Portugal early next week.

Despite only recording three points from a possible 12 in this competition, Croatia got the better of Switzerland in last month's friendly and claimed a 3-3 draw in Turkey on Wednesday night.

While the 2018 World Cup finalists have scored in their last nine matches in all competitions, that record is undermined by no clean sheets being registered during the same games.

At a time when Croatia have been in free-scoring form, Sweden only have the consolation goal which they scored in the reverse fixture to show from their last three encounters.

The other two strikes over a six-game period came during a 2-1 success over Russia, meaning that the Scandinavian outfit will have to change something for the better during this contest.

Much is expected of young striker Alexander Isak, but the Real Sociedad frontman has just one international goal to his name since netting a double against the Faroe Islands 14 months ago.

Sweden Nations League form: LLLL
Sweden form (all competitions): LLWLLL

Croatia Nations League form: LLWL
Croatia form (all competitions): LLWWLD


Team News

Sweden manager Janne Andersson on November 13, 2017© Reuters

Janne Andersson will be able to call upon the five players who were forced to miss the game with Denmark due to coronavirus restrictions imposed by the British government.

Robin Olsen, Emil Krafth, Filip Helander, Victor Lindelof and Ken Sema will all come into contention, with Olsen and Lindelof expected to start the game in their homeland.

Andersson will revert to much of the team which lined up for the last Nations League fixture with Portugal, although Pontus Jansson misses out through injury.

Croatia will be without Domagoj Vida after the defender received news of a positive coronavirus test on Wednesday night.

Dalic also has a decision to make regarding his goalkeeper as a result of Dominik Livakovic missing out through injury.

Luton Town stopper Simon Sluga got the nod in midweek, but either Ivo Grbic or Lovre Kalinic could be used on this occasion.

Sweden possible starting lineup:
Olsen; Lustig, Lindelof, Helander, Bengtsson; Kulusevski, Olsson, Ekdal, Claesson; Berg, Quaison

Croatia possible starting lineup:
Kalinic; Uremovic, Lovren, Pongracic, Barisic; Badelj, Modric; Pasalic, Vlasic, Perisic; Budimir


SM words green background

We say: Sweden 1-2 Croatia

Given the scenarios facing both sides, you would expect Sweden to show the greater attacking threat throughout this contest. However, Croatia are a dangerous side when playing on the counter-attack, and it should work in their favour at the weekend.


Top betting 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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