Qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup return as Sweden play host to Spain at Friends Arena in Stockholm in the early hours of Friday, September 3.
International football was put on hold since the Euros where Sweden made it to the round-of-16 while Spain exited in the semi-finals at hands of eventual champions Italy.
Sweden’s record in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier has been perfect so far. The team has gone without a defeat and won both of their matches so far. The Victor Lindelof-led team started off with a 1-0 win over Georgia and followed it up with a 3-0 win over Kosovo.
Spain, on the other hand, have won two and drawn one of their three matches so far. They defeated Georgia and Kosovo but were held to a 1-1 draw by Greece in their opening match of the qualifiers. Sweden’s perfect record is boosted by the fact that they are yet to concede a goal in the qualifiers. On the contrary, Spain are yet to keep a clean sheet.
As things stand, Spain sit on the top of Group B owing to the extra match they have played, while Sweden are second.
Sweden vs Spain head-to-head
Both Spain and Sweden were drafted in Group E of the UEFA Euro 2020. The two teams went on to play a stalemate in a game that was largely dominated by Spain. Luis Enrique’s men enjoyed a whopping 86% of ball possession, played 917 passes at an accuracy of 90% and attempted 17 shots on goal. However, Sweden’s defence was on hand to thwart every attack.
Overall, Sweden vs Spain has more or less been dominated by the latter. The two teams have met 15 times in the past, with Spain winning six and losing just three. As many as six matches have ended in a draw.
Spain team news
The most notable absentee from the Spanish team is Barcelona midfielder Pedri. The 18-year-old has been left out by Luis Enrique after playing more than 70 matches for club and country last season. Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara has been left out as well, while West Ham United’s Pablo Fornals returns to the team for the first time since 2018.
The likes of Pau Torres, Mikel Oyarzabal and Dani Olmo are absent too, but Wolves’ Adama Traore has made the cut.
Goalkeepers: David De Gea, Unai Simon, Robert Sanchez
Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta, Jordi Alba, Aymeric Laporte, Eric Garcia, Raul Albiol, Inigo Martinez, Jose Gaya, Marcos Llorente
Midfielders: Brais Mendez, Rodri, Sergio Busquets, Mikel Merino, Koke, Carlos Soler
Forwards: Gerard Moreno, Adama Traore, Pablo Fornals, Alvaro Morata, Abel Ruiz, Ferran Torres, Pablo Sarabia
Sweden team news
Coach Jan Andersson has named a 26-man squad for upcoming games and key players like Victor Lindelof, Emil Forsberg and Albin Ekdal are all present for Sweden. Juventus forward Dejan Kulusevski has been called up too. The team has no injury issues whatsoever but defender Marcus Danielsen is suspended from this match after picking up a red card in their round-of-16 match against Ukraine at the Euros.
Goalkeepers: Robin Olsen, Karl-Johan Johnsson, Kristoffer Nordfeldt
Defenders: Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelöf, Carl Starfelt, Marcus Danielson, Andreas Granqvist, Martin Olsson, Pierre Bengtsson, Hans Carl Ludwig Augustinsson Joakim Nilsson, Filip Helander, Emil Krafth
Midfielders: Sebastian Larsson, Jens-Lys Cajuste,Albin Ekdal, Gustav Svensson, Viktor Claesson, Ken Sema, Mattias Svanberg, Kristoffer Olsson, Dejan Kulusevski, Robin Quaison
Forwards: Marcus Berg, Emil Forsberg, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Jesper Karlsson, Alexander Isak
Where to watch the Sweden vs Spain world cup qualifier live in India?
The live streaming of Sweden vs Spain world cup qualifier can be viewed on SonyLiv and the JioTV app. The match will kick off at 12:15 AM IST on September 3.
There will be no telecast of the Sweden vs Spain world cup qualifier in India.
Featured photo: AFP / Pierre-Philippe Marcou