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Euro 2012 Spotlight - Sweden
Footytubeblog (Blog) 2 years ago


FIFA World Ranking
17

Tournament Odds
66/1

Key Players
Zlatan Ibrahimović – ST – 77 Caps, 31 Goals
Andreas Isaksson– GK - 93 Caps, 0 Goals
Ola Toivonen– FW – 24 Caps, 6 Goals

Team Rating


Group
C: England, France, Sweden, Ukraine

Notable Facts
  • Beat Netherlands 3-2 in their final qualifying game for Euro 2012.

  • Scored 31 goals in 10 qualifying games.

  • Have only progressed past the Quarter Final of the European Championships once.


Sweden’s Chances
The Swedes appear to have taken on the role of the unfancied ugly duckling of Group D, but a good look at their credentials suggests there may be at least a little underestimating going on here. Whilst they may not be tournament contenders the fact that they are ranked only two places below France in the FIFA world rankings with odds of 66/1 (where as France are only 9/1 now) seems a little odd to say the least, perhaps people have allowed the Swedish light to become dimmed in the shadow of group favourites France, and “we definitely won’t win it” England, but is this a mistake?

Sweden qualified by finishing second in the Netherland’s group, just 3 points behind the Dutch, having scored a very tasty 31 goals in 10 games, in fact only Germany and Netherlands scored more during qualifying. They can also boast a 3-2 home win over Netherlands in the final group game ending their run of 17 straight qualification game wins, and if you think that the Dutch let them win a dead rubber you’d be wrong, most of the big stars were in the starting 11 for Holland that day.

The qualifying stats also reveal another impressive attribute to the Swedes, they managed to score goals from all over the park with no fewer than 14 different players getting on the score sheet, by comparison England only had 7 whilst France had 8 so they have plenty of threats around the pitch even if the 11 goals they conceded is a little below par when measured against the best qualifiers.

A look at the squad does nothing to dampen their chances either. A majority of their players are currently, or have in the past played in the top leagues for good clubs with only 4 outfield players having fewer than 20 caps. The stand outs (and there are quite a few so we’ve had to shorten this list) include Andreas Isaksson (93 caps), Olof Mellberg (114), Anders Svensson (127), Kim Källström (92), Johan Elmander (63) and of course Captain Zlatan Ibrahimović (77). With a handful of decent players in their squad it would be foolish to write them off in closely matched group where both the favourites could have very good or very bad tournaments.

Whilst the Swedes have only ever been past the Quarter Finals of the European Championships on one occasion, on home soil in 1992 their record of just 4 wins in 14 finals matches perhaps reflects a little unkindly on them and if they could overcome the relative lack of experience in their defence they would pose a far greater threat. In a group where France are missing an extra out and out goal scorer and England are relying upon limited attacking resources this may work very well in Sweden’s favour, if they can continue finding the goals that came so readily in qualifying.

Group D is more open than it may seem and the simple synopsis suggest that everything hinges on the match between Sweden and England, with Sweden playing Ukraine first there is a possibility that by the time England and Sweden meet England could be on zero points with Sweden needing a win to knock England out of the tournament and guarantee their own position in the Quarter Finals before the final game is played, and we all know the English boys get very flustered when pressure is on them so that match should make for some tense viewing with 1 goal either way deciding the fate of both teams.

“Araz Index”
Chance of qualifying from Group: 45%
Predicted Knock Out Stage: Group Stage

“Matt Index”
Chance of qualifying from Group: 40%
Predicted Knock Out Stage: Group Stage

Matt's Possibly True Trivia

  • Zlatan Ibrahimović is driven to play football in the hopes that his career will see him reunited with his true love, Gerard Pique.

  • The Swedes convert their assigned dugout before each match so that it acts as a sauna.









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