World champions France begin their Nations League campaign with a trip to Stockholm to face Sweden this weekend. The Blagult were in good form before the world of football ground to a halt earlier this year, so can they cause Les Bleus any serious problems on Saturday night?
Where and when: Friends Arena – 5 September, kick-off 19:45
Where you can see Sweden vs. France: Sky Sports
Last time: Sweden beat France 2-1 at this stadium the last time the teams met, with Ola Toivonen scoring a 93rd-minute winner for the hosts in the World Cup qualifier in 2017.
Sweden v France Predictions and Preview
Sweden showed their mettle the last time they played France, coming from behind to beat the team that would win the World Cup just 13 months later. The Swedes also beat Les Bleus 2-0 at Euro 2012, although France won both meetings between the countries bookended by those two fixtures.
Didier Deschamps’ side are a fearsome proposition these days, and the French coach has named a strong squad with the likes of Kylian Mbappe included despite his involvement in the Champions League final little more than a week ago.
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France to win and BTTS
France to win 2-1
Griezmann to score first
Les Bleus topped their Euro 2020 qualifying group after eight wins from 10 games, although they did lose 2-0 in Turkey during that campaign. The Turks managed a 1-1 draw back in France in the return, perhaps showing there’s a weakness to the world champions which Sweden will look to exploit.
That said, the visitors are the hot favourites for the win on Saturday. They are priced at 17/20 in your latest Sweden v France predictions, with the hosts available at 4/1. Janne Andersson’s side are really up against it, but they’ll certainly take heart from those recent victories over the French.
Sweden should also be confident after a strong qualifying campaign for the postponed Euro 2020, with their sole defeat in 10 fixtures coming away to Spain. The home team have also been in action more recently than France, playing two friendlies against Kosovo and Moldova in January.
The visitors, meanwhile, haven’t played since November due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Sweden will hope to take advantage of that nine-month hiatus, as well as the greater miles in the majority of their opponents’ legs.
A draw would be an excellent result for the Swedes in their first match in the top section of the Nations League, having been promoted from the second tier in the inaugural iteration. The stalemate this weekend is priced at 13/5.
One to watch for Sweden: Marcus Berg is still going strong at 34, and is set to lead the line for the hosts this weekend. He has 21 international goals to his name so far, and is 9/1 to add to that by netting the opener here.
One to watch for France: Antoine Griezmann had a year to forget at Barcelona, but he could see himself as the main man at the Nou Camp next season with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez potentially on the way out of the club. Griezmann must step up and is 17/4 to do so here by breaking the deadlock.
Long shot: With France out of action for over nine months and Sweden boasting a couple of excellent victories over Les Bleus in recent meetings between the countries, another 2-1 home win for the Swedes this weekend is priced at 16/1 with William Hill. If you add Berg as the first scorer, those odds rise to a mouthwatering 160/1.