Sweden and Croatia will meet once again, this time at Friends Arena in Solna for a match of the 5th Nations League round on Saturday.
Sweden is in the last 4th place in the standings of League A, group 3 with no points yet, while the Croats are 3rd on three points.
Here is our preview.
Sweden vs Croatia Match Facts
- Date: Saturday, 14 November 2020
- Kick-Off at 22.45 EAT
- Venue: Friends Arena, Solna.
As things stand
Sweden’s campaign has been a dispiriting one so far; they have lost all four of their games, and must avoid defeat against Croatia if they are to have any chance of escaping relegation to League B.
Croatia are third in the section, seven points adrift of the leading pair, France and Portugal. They can no longer qualify for the final tournament, but will be sure of avoiding relegation if they win in Solna.
Andrej Kramarić struck late as Croatia beat Sweden 2-1 in Zagreb on Matchday 3, securing their only Group A3 points to date. The Blågult’s overall record in five games against Croatia is not encouraging: W1 L4.
The Swedes have lost their only two previous home games against Croatia: 2-1 in a friendly in Solna in 2003, and then 1-0 in a FIFA World Cup qualifier in Gothenburg the following year.
🔮 Likely XIs
Sweden Predicted XI (4-4-2): Robin Olsen, Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelof, Filip Helander, Pierre Bengtsson, Dejan Kulusevski, Kristoffer Olsson, Albin Ekdal, Viktor Claesson, Marcus Berg, Alexander Isak
Croatia Predicted XI (4-3-3): Simon Sluga, Filip Uremovic, Duje Caleta-Car, Dejan Lovren, Borna Barisic, Mateo Kovacic, Luka Modric, Nikola Vlasic, Mario Pasalic, Ante Budimir, Ivan Perisic
🔑 Key stats
- Sweden have registered four straight defeats in League A3 of the UEFA Nations League (UNL) but can still avoid last place in the group. This match against third-placed Croatia will therefore help determine who gets relegated to League B, but history offers little salvation for the Swedes, who’ve lost all three competitive H2Hs since 2004 by a one-goal margin, which includes the reverse fixture where they conceded an 84th-minute decider (2-1).
- Recent form doesn’t look good for Sweden either, as they’ve lost five of their last six matches (W1). Going on the offense appears their biggest problem, as they’ve failed to find the net in four of those six matches, and scored 2+ goals in just one of their previous eight.
- Croatia, meanwhile, have a win against Sweden but also three defeats in this group after conceding a whopping average of 2.75 goals per match. Their midweek 3-3 draw against Turkey continued that trend of defensive frailty, and was their eighth match in a row to feature over 2.5 goals, with the total goals average standing at 4.13 per fixture across that period.
- Overall, it’s two wins from the last six matches for Croatia (W2, D1, L3) after trailing by a one-goal margin at HT in four of those six (D1, L3), and witnessing an average of 1.83 total first-half goals per fixture across those games. Indeed, Croatia have conceded the opener in six of their last eight matches (W4, D1, L3).
- Juventus youngster Dejan Kulusevski may bring the heat for Sweden - he’s got a goal and four yellow cards across his last seven matches for club and country.
- Croatia’s Nikola Vlašić scored the opener in the reverse fixture and has netted in back-to-back UNL matches.
🪐 Futaa bets
🔮 Score prediction: Sweden 1-2 Croatia
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