Spain kick-off their Euro 2020 on Monday when they welcome Sweden, but La Roja were hit by COVID and have some notable absentees. The same applies for Sweden, as Dejan Kulusevski and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were also ruled out.
Where and when: Estadio La Cartuja – 14 June, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Spain vs. Sweden: BBC
Last time: Spain and Sweden shared the same qualifying group back in 2019 with La Roja winning the first game by 3-0 before earning a hard-fought 1-1 draw in Stockholm in the return leg.
Spain v Sweden Predictions and Preview
A good result will be considered a must for both Spain and Sweden when the two sides lock horns for their Euro opener in Seville on Monday. They were drawn alongside Poland and Slovakia in Group E which appears to be one of the toughest one in the competition.
Spain enter the tournament on an eight-game unbeaten streak, as Luis Enrique’s men are yet to suffer a defeat in 2021. In fact, La Roja have lost just one of their last 24 games, a run that saw them top their Euro qualifying group and even beat Sweden back in 2019.
The ex-Barcelona tactician made the controversial decision to exclude Sergio Ramos from his Euro 2020 squad list – a decisions that seems bizarre considering that Spain failed to keep a clean sheet against the likes of Kosovo, Georgia and Greece in their recent games.
Sergio Busquets and Diego Llorente, who was expected to step in for Ramos, tested positive for COVID-19, so Enrique will have only 24 players to choose from for the Sweden clash. The tactician will be forced to reshuffle his defense once again with either Eric Garcia or Cesar Azpilicueta expected to deputize at center-back.
The situation between the sticks seems uncertain as well, but Athletic Bilbao’s Unai Simon is expected to get the nod over David De Gea.
Nevertheless, the quality is still there, especially in midfield where Thiago Alcantara is still the motor of the team. The Liverpool man will be supported by the likes of Marcos Llorente and Koke, who won La Liga with Altetico Madrid, as well as Rodri, who has been instrumental for Manchester City.
In attack Alvaro Morata is set to lead the line, as he is the most prolific goalscorer for Spain in the current squad. Villareal’s Europa League hero Gerrard Moreno will be ready to step in, while the likes of Ferran Torres, Pedri and Dani Olmo will provide support from behind.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
Spain to win to nil
Spain to win by two goals or more
Spain to win by 3-0
On the other hand, Sweden suffered a huge blow when Zlatan Ibrahimovic was ruled out from the tournament due to injury. Another star-man in attack Dejan Kulusevski will also miss the game because of COVID-19.
The absence of Kulusevski and Zlatan, surely puts Tre Kronor in a tough situation, as the main responsibility in attack will fall on 34-year-old veteran Marcus Berg and 21-year-old Alexander Isak. Janne Andersson has been insistent on his 4-4-2 formation, so Berg and Isak will most likely start up front together.
In midfield Emil Forsberg will be expected to provide the creative spark from the left, while Albin Ekdal, Mattias Svanberg and Viktor Claesson form the rest of what is a solid, but a rather unspectacular unit.
In goal Everton’s Robin Olsen is the undisputed first choice, while Victor Lindeloff and veteran Andreas Granqvist will be the core of the backline.
Defense will be crucial if Andersson’s men are about to upset the Spaniards, as Sweden registered four clean sheets in five games in 2021. Tre Kronor won all five of those clashes and scored 10 goals during that stretch.
Nevertheless, Sweden were trashed by 3-0 the last time they visited Spain and the their last win against La Roja was 15 years ago. All this suggests for a comfortable Spanish victory and you can place a bet at 4/9.
One to watch for Spain: Ferran Torres is 9/2 to break the deadlock against Sweden on Monday and backing up the Manchester City forward seems like a good option. The 21-year-old scored 19 goals for club and country this term, including a sensational hat-trick in the 6-0 trashing of Germany back in November, so he is a player that needs to be watched.
One to watch for Sweden: Alexander Isak is another 21-year-old who can make the difference on Monday, as the Real Sociedad will have the tough task to step in for Zlatan. Isak netted 17 times for his club during the season and already has 5 goals for his country, so you can back him up to score the opener at 17/2
Long shot: Spain’s last two home games against Sweden ended with 3-0 victories. Monday’s game will once again be played on Spanish soil, so if you are looking for big odds, you can bet for a repeat of this result at 17/2 with William Hill.