MX23RW : Sunday, June 13 07:58:31| >> :120:47272:47272:
Mar 28, 2021 at 7.45pm UK at Pristina City Stadium
KosovoKosovo
0-3
SwedenSweden

Muriqi (6'), Kryeziu (9'), Hadergjonaj (12'), Halimi (72'), Berisha (88')
Berisha (90+2')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Augustinsson (12'), Isak (35'), Larsson (70' pen.)
Isak (27')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's World Cup Qualifying - Europe clash between Kosovo and Sweden, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Sweden face Kosovo on Sunday evening with the opportunity to maintain their position at the top of Group B.

While the visitors kicked off their World Cup qualifying campaign with a narrow win over Georgia, Kosovo thrashed Lithuania by a 4-0 scoreline in a friendly.


Match preview

Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates a goal during the clash with Georgia on March 25, 2021© Reuters

The decision to recall Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the Sweden setup has been made to give the nation the best possible chance of making an impact at Euro 2020 and qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.

However, the Scandinavian outfit were only able to edge past Georgia on Thursday night, the veteran providing the assist for Viktor Claesson's decisive goal.

With Spain being held by Greece, Janne Andersson will recognise that the three points were far more important than the performance, but there will be concerns that Sweden did not produce better quality in the final third.

While Georgia deserve credit for the part that they played, Andersson will demand that his players raise their level against opponents who have the potential to cause a surprise.

A day earlier, Kosovo made light work of Lithuania, breezing to a 4-0 result which included their second clean sheet in succession.

Bernard Challandes will be relieved to have witnessed a response from his squad, who have now recorded back-to-back wins after 10 games without success.

The disappointment of failing to qualify for Euro 2020 now appears to be out of their system, and they will relish their tag of underdogs in this group.

Although an opening double-header with Sweden and Spain is not the ideal start, Challandes knows that avoiding defeat in one of those games will give his players something to work with when their campaign resumes in September.

These two nations met in an international friendly in January 2020, albeit with two heavily-weakened teams on show as Sweden prevailed 1-0 in Doha.

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

Sweden World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • W

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


Team News

Sweden manager Janne Andersson on November 13, 2017© Reuters

With Sunday's game being followed by an international friendly with Estonia, Andersson is not expected to ring the changes to his Sweden XI.

Mattias Svanberg may replace veteran Sebastian Larsson, who completed the 90 minutes on Thursday, while Emil Krafth is an alternative to Mikael Lustig.

Either Ibrahimovic or Marcus Berg will partner Alexander Isak in attack with Emil Forsberg remaining among the replacements.

Barring any late fitness issues, Challandes is unlikely to make any alterations to the side which started the friendly against Lithuania.

Vedat Muriqi, who has returned to full fitness after a frustrating campaign with Lazio, will be aiming to add to his 11 goals from 27 appearances for his country.

Kosovo possible starting lineup:
Ujkani; Aliti, Hadergjonaj, Vojvoda, Dresevic, Berisha, Kryeziu, Zeneli, Celina, Rashica, Muriqi

Sweden possible starting lineup:
Nordfeldt; Lustig, Lindelof, Helander, Augustinsson; Kulusevski, Olsson, Svanberg, Claesson; Isak, Ibrahimovic


SM words green background

We say: Kosovo 1-2 Sweden

Even with the reintroduction of Ibrahimovic, goals may not be forthcoming for this Sweden side. Nevertheless, we still expect the visitors to use their big-match experience to good effect, edging out their hosts in a competitive contest.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting 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.Away Win:data


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Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates a goal during the clash with Georgia on March 25, 2021
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WC qualification roundup: Ibrahimovic helps Sweden win on return
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