Ace Football previews the UEFA Nations League match between Sweden and Croatia, and offers betting tips, odds, line-ups, and team news.
Sweden and Croatia will lock horns at the Friends Arena on Saturday night for their latest Nations League fixture.
Both sides may be out of contention for a spot in the finals in the Group A3 table, but they still have everything to play for on Saturday in deciding who gets relegated to League B for the 2022/23 campaign.
Croatia have the edge on three points from four games to sit third and a place above Sweden, who are yet to register a single point. But with home advantage on their side, the Swedes plan to go out with all guns blazing in Stockholm.
Sweden Form & Stats
Zero points in four games is a poor return for Sweden, even if they weren’t expected to progress past Group A3. In fact, they’ve only scored once in the Nations League from a 2-1 defeat to Croatia last month.
A 2-0 friendly defeat to Denmark on Wednesday wasn’t an ideal way to kick things off either. The Danes had the measure of them, with goals from Jonas Wind and Alexander Bah sealing a convincing victory.
Sweden suffered another blow a day later when it emerged that Carl Starfelt tested positive for COVID-19. It came just days after Janne Andersson returned a positive result himself. So now the hosts are a defender and manager down.
Key Team Stats
- Lost three of their last four home games in the Nations League (W1).
- Lost four of their five games against Croatia in all competitions (W1).
- Scored in just two of their last six games in all competitions.
Croatia Form & Stats
Zlatko Dalic’s side head to Stockholm on the back of a 3-3 friendly draw away to Turkey midweek. They’ve since lost two players in Marcelo Brozovic and Domagoj Vida to positive coronavirus tests, along with an unnamed staff member. The trio are in self-isolation and reported to be fine.
It leaves Croatia in a tricky spot for the match at the Friends Arena, where they must avoid defeat. If not, they must grab a result away to Portugal in their last group match to avoid relegation to League B.
A 2-1 win over Sweden in Zagreb last month, however, should give the visitors confidence. Dalic, meanwhile, warned his side against playing it safe in his pre-match conference by stating ‘if we play for a point, we will lose’.
The Croatia boss will also be equally wary of the team’s defensive record, having conceded in all nine of their last games.
Key Team Stats
- Lost their last four away games in the Nations League.
- Won just two of their last six games in all competitions (D1 L3).
- BTTS in their last nine games in all competitions.
Goalkeepers: Robin Olsen, Karl-Johan Johnsson, Kristoffer Nordfeldt.
Defenders: Victor Lindelof, Mikael Lustig, Pierre Bengtsson, Filip Helander, Martin Olsson, Marcus Danielson, Emil Krafth, Mattias Johansson, Carl Starfelt, Sebastian Holmen.
Midfielders: Dejan Kulusevski, Sebastian Larsson, Albin Ekdal, Emil Forsberg, Viktor Claesson, Gustav Svensson, Mattias Svanberg, Kristoffer Olsson, Jens Cajuste, Ken Sema.
Forwards: Marcus Berg, Alexander Isak, Jordan Larsson, Robin Quaison.
Goalkeepers: Ivo Grbic, Lovre Kalinic, Simon Sluga.
Defenders: Borna Barisic, Domagoj Bradaric, Duje Caleta-Car, Marin Pongracic, Filip Uremovic, Josip Juranovic, Dario Melnjak.
Midfielders: Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic, Marcelo Brozovic, Nikola Vlasic, Mario Pasalic, Toma Basic, Marko Rog, Milan Badelj.
Forwards: Ivan Perisic, Josip Brekalo, Bruno Petkovic, Antonio Colak, Ante Budimir, Mislav Orsic.
(Note: The image will change to the official XI once they’re both announced)
Top Nations League Goalscorers
Here are results from the last five meetings and head-to-head stats from their recent Nations League games.
|30/04/2003||Sweden vs Croatia||1-2||Friendly|
|8/9/2004||Sweden vs Croatia||0-1||World Cup|
|08/10/2005||Croatia vs Sweden||1-0||World Cup|
|29/02/2012||Croatia vs Sweden||1-3||Friendly|
|11/10/2020||Croatia vs Sweden||2-1||Nations League|