FIFA World Cup Special : Team talk – Manchester United star joins former Arsenal man to dream big for Sweden

Sweden are drawn in Group F, and it will be difficult to reach the knockout stage.

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As the FIFA World Cup, 2018 is only seven days to go, we continue our “Team Talk” series with group-F, where we will be focussing on the European side Sweden.

Team: SWEDEN

Coach: Janne Andersson
Captain: Andreas Granqvist
Nickname(s): Blågult
Last Qualified in: 2006
Result in 2014: Did not qualify.
Qualified as: UEFA Group A Runners Up (10th October 2017)
Previous World Cup Appearances: (11 Times) 1934, 1938, 1950, 1958, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1990, 1994, 2002, 2006.
Best World Cup Finals Result: Runners Up in 1958.

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Final Squad:

Goalkeepers: Robin Olsen, Karl-Johan Johnsson, Kristoffer Nordfeldt.

Defenders: Mikael Lustig, Victor Nilsson-Lindelof, Andreas Granqvist, Martin Olsson, Ludwig Augustinsson, Filip Helander, Pontus Jansson, Emil Krafth.

Midfielders: Emil Forsberg, Albin Ekdal, Viktor Claesson, Gustav Svensson, Sebastian Larsson, Jimmy Durmaz, Oscar Hiljemark, Marcus Rohden.

Forwards: Marcus Berg, Ola Toivonen, John Guidetti, Isaac Kiese-Thelin.

Key Players:

1. Victor Nilsson-Lindelof: The 23-year-old Manchester United youngster is a key man in the Swedish defense. The player has had his early career at the Portuguese side SL Benfica. So, the player can utilize his experience of playing in top two clubs from the top two European leagues.

2. Emil Forsberg: The 26-year-old midfielder from the German side RB Leipzig does play an important role for his side. Reportedly, the player has bagged 6 goals in his 34 appearances for his country. He will be counted as the creator of the attacks. So, the Swedish fans can rely on his service.

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3. Sebastian Larsson: The 33-year-old veteran is the most experienced set-piece specialist in the squad. Besides that his ability from the long is also praiseworthy. The former Arsenal player plays for the English side Hull City. The player will be highly optimistic to have a final impact in the World Cup before he declares his retirement.

4. John Guidetti: The 26-year-old former Manchester City forward can be considered as the key man in the Swedish attack. The player had a good season in Feyenoord, but apart from that, his performance had been very inconsistent. He is strong enough and good in the air. The player will also be keen on proving his worth.

Recent Form:

Sweden has qualified for the FIFA World Cup 2018 after finishing behind France among the UEFA group A qualifiers. Reportedly, they are the reason why another European heavyweight the Netherlands failed to qualify for the tournament. Although they had lost to the Netherlands in their last qualifier, they will be highly energetic to perform some upsets.

Group matches:

Sweden are in Group F along with Germany, Mexico, and South Korea. They will flag off their campaign against the Asian giants South Korea in their opening match on 18th of June 2018 followed by Germany and Mexico on 23rd and 27th June respectively.

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Prediction:

Sweden have to start the tournament from behind, being in a tough group and having the heavyweights like Germany and Mexico. So, they must have to perform some upsets to make their place in the next round.

Trivia:

Sweden have never won a knockout tie at a major tournament since the 1994 World Cup. In 1958, they had their best record as they finished the tournament being the runners-up. Till date, they are the only team to taste a defeat in a World Cup Final as the host nation.

 

Do you think Sweden can go to the knockout stage? Comment below!

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