Stadium: Gazprom Arena, Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Sweden had a good start at the European Championships, preventing themselves from beating Spain in Seville. The Swedes will next play in St. Petersburg against Slovakia, who in turn beat Poland in the first round. How will the upcoming meeting play out? Here are a few bets on the second round match in Group E.
Sweden are predictable, but that doesn’t make it any easier for their opponents
Tre Kronor know their strengths and weaknesses very well. A seemingly simple thing, but only experienced teams have such knowledge. The Swedes are like that. Euro 2020 is the second tournament that the team plays under the leadership of Janne Andersson and with approximately the same squad. At the World Cup in Russia, Sweden made it to the quarter-finals, placing them among the top eight national teams on the planet.
The formation, which brought success at the World Cup, is still used by the Swedes. They organise their defence and count on sparkling counterattacks. Against Spain, Andersson’s men gave the ball to their opponent and pressed the Spaniards tightly only in the last third, at their own goal. The possession percentage at the end of the game was 25-75, not in favour of the Swedes. But, as you know, possession alone does not guarantee success. The Spaniards were near Robin Olsen’s goal just a couple of times, but even they were not 100% dangerous. At the same time, the Swedes had two very dangerous runs towards the Spanish goal when forward Alexander Isak made one of his passes, after Marcos Llorente’s leg hit the post, while Unai Simon had already kept the ball. The Swedes could have won in Sevilla.
The return of Dejan Kulusevski should be a big help in the run-up to the next games for Sweden. The Juventus attacking midfielder missed the game against Spain because of a coronavirus, but he can help his side in the game against Slovakia.
Slovakia close to the play-offs
Before the Euro, all the bookmakers regarded Slovakia as the clear underdog in Group E. However, Stefan Tarkovic’s team showed its class in the first round. In St Petersburg, the Polish national team were thrashed 2-1. The winning goal was scored by the team’s two main stars. Marek Hamšík crossed the ball, and Milan Škriniar netted it.
Gamšík understandably, his experience is sure to serve the Slovaks well at this Euro. Skriniar’s star is just rising. All the more reason to appreciate the level of football that the 26-year-old Inter Milan defender showed against Poland. The winning goal was, of course, memorable, but it was the icing on the cake. Skriniar's main goal, however, was neutralising Robert Lewandowski. The Bayern forward had nothing to offer to the Slovaks, who had built a competent defence against him. The three points scored noticeably improved the Slovakian’s chances of qualifying from the group. Given the Euro 2020 format, and specifically the possibility of qualifying for the play-offs from third place, even three points might be enough for the Slovaks.
Expert Betting Tips
The Slovaks beat Poland, but it will not be easy for them to repeat their success against the Swedes. The Poles are frankly unbalanced and dependent on Robert Lewandowski, who, thanks to the superb Škriniar, the Slovaks have managed to outplay them. Sweden, on the other hand, are a perfectly organised team, who will not move away from their football and will hit the weak points of the Slovak formation with quick attacks, and at least once, but they will be successful. It is far from certain that Slovakia will have something to answer for. The prediction is a win for Sweden.
- Sweden to win for 1.89;
- W1 + Team 2 Not To Score for 2.75;
- Sweden to win and Total Over 1.5 for 2.50.