COVID-hit Spain will face Sweden in their first group stage game of Euro 2020(1). Spain was forced to play with a team full of U21 players in their last friendly against Lithuania after the virus outbreak hit the side before they take the vaccination. Sweden had a more stable preparation time as Emil Forsberg produced a superb performance.
Spain aim a return to its former glory with Luis Enrique
After doing the treble of successive major titles in 2012, Spain struggled in tournaments. They were knocked out of their 2014 World Cup group with the 5-1 defeat to the Netherlands considered as one of the best games on the stage.
Euro 2016 also went with Spain losing to Antonio Conte’s well-drilled Italy side in the round of 16. The next tournament? Spain dominated hosts Russia for 120 minutes in the World Cup, but they couldn’t convert it to chances before losing out on penalty shootouts.
This presented another chance with Enrique having to go with some controversial picks with the hosts of talents in Spain, making his job difficult. On the other hand, they need to deal with the group stage without Sergio Busquets after he tested positive for COVID-19.
When and where to watch?
The match kicks off at 20:00 on Monday 14th June 2021, and the entire game will be available on BBC One.
Sweden has a mix of experience and young firepower
Losing the returnee Zlatan Ibrahimovic to injury could affect their chances. Still, Sweden managed to cope well without the superstar in previous years. They progressed to the quarterfinal of the last major tournament, where they lost to England.
The attacking unit with the veteran Marcus Berg and the promising Alexander Isak is a perfect example of the hybrid nature of their squad composition. For every prospect, there are experienced pros who represented Sweden in previous major tournaments.
Forsberg will be the key player as his set-piece prowess and vision made him the most important player on the side. Isak and Juventus’ Dejan Kulusevski both lifted domestic cups with their respective clubs in 2021.
Spain unbeaten in four against Sweden
They were also seeded in the same group in the qualifiers. Spain won the home game 3-0, but Sweden secured a crucial point in the return fixture, although Rodrigo’s equalizer for Spain came very late in the game to make it as two points lost for them.
Spain & Sweden Team News
Two players from each team will miss the game due to COVID-19. Busquets and Leeds United’s defender Diego Llorente are ruled out of the fixture. For Sweden, Kulusevski and Mattias Svanberg could only feature in the following games for the same reason.
A strong start is expected from both sides
Spain are not considered one of the favourites for the tournament, but they can still revive their chance with a strong performance. Sweden first set their eyes on the qualification to the round of 16, and a stunning win here would go a long way in realizing their dreams.
|Spain to win||23/50 (1.46)||Novibet|
|Over 2.5 total goals||11/10 (2.1)||Betfair Sportsbook|
|Alvaro Morata to score anytime||28/17 (2.65)||10Bet|