In their last major tournament, which was the FIFA World Cup in Russia, the Swedes managed to make it to the quarterfinals, where they were beaten 2-0 by England. However, when it comes to the European Championship, they have never made it beyond the semi-finals and their only match at this stage came back in 1992 when they lost to Germany to be denied a place in the final. They topped their Euro 2020 Group and now face Ukraine in the Round of 16. In this article, we shall take a close look at their chances of winning this match and how far they can go in the competition.
Sweden vs Ukraine – How They Got to the Round of 16
Sweden was in a group with Spain, Poland, and Slovakia, so many people, even Swedish sports betting fans would have placed their bets on Spain to top the group. However, in their first game against Spain, the Swedes put in a very good defensive shift to prevent the Spanish from scoring and walked away with a very credible 0-0 draw. They then took on the Slovaks and beat them 1-0 to all but guarantee themselves a place in the next round. Their final group game was against Poland, and this was a great match that Sweden edged 3-2 thanks to a last-minute winner. The bookies would have loved this last-minute goal as it meant that Sweden topped the group and not Spain. The Swedes have not lost for eight matches now, and in six of these games, they have not conceded a goal, which is definitely something that needs to be praised and acknowledged.
Ukraine, on the other hand, were in a group with the Netherlands, Austria, and Macedonia. Their first game was against the Dutch, and if it were not for a late keeping error, we are sure they would have walked away with a 2-2 draw after having be two goals down. Despite the fact that they lost, they showed a lot of spirit and won over many neutral fans. In their second game they beat Macedonia 2-1, while they lost their final game against Austria 1-0. Their three points was enough to see them qualify for the Round of 16 as one of the four best third-placed teams. Although their results were not that impressive, their performances were good, which is the reason why the Ukrainians will enter this match with quite a bit of confidence.
These two teams do not know each other that well as they have only ever played each other four times, with their last match coming way bac in the 2012 European Championship. They were in the same group, and the Ukrainians came out on top with a 2-1 victory. The brilliant Zlatan Ibrahimovic had given his side the lead, but then Andriy Shevchenko scored a brace to help his side pick up all three points. Both teams finished on 3 points, but neither made it through as back then it was only the top two teams that went through as only 16 teams took part.
Sweden v Ukraine – Who Will Win?
This is not an easy game to predict as we feel that both teams are pretty evenly matched. The Swedes are very good when it comes to defending, while the Ukrainians, thanks to the likes of Andriy Yarmolenko, Roman Yaremchuk, Ruslan Malinovskyi, and Mykola Shaparenko, probably have a better attack. We believe that the Swedes will sit back and soak up the pressure and then look to use the speed and skill of Alexander Isak to hurt their opponents on the counter.
If you look at comparison websites such as bettingonlinesverige.se, which happens to be one of the most used for sports betting in Sweden, you will see that many of the big European sportsbooks have Sweden as slight favourites to win the match and march on to the quarter-finals. We actually agree with this and think that the Swedes will keep a clean sheet and go through as 1-0 winners, possibly after extra-time.
How Far Can Sweden Go?
So, let us say that our above prediction plays out exactly how we said it would, and Sweden go marching onto the next round, just how far could they actually go in this competition? Well, if they made it to the quarterfinals, they would be big underdogs with the bookies this time around as they would have to face either England or Germany in the quarterfinals on the 3rd of July in Rome.
As we mentioned above, Sweden was knocked out of the 2018 World Cup at the same stage by England, but they have proven over the years that they can give England a game. A lot of England v Sweden games have ended in a draw, so the Swedes would probably aim to keep England at bay and sneak a goal or win via a penalty shootout.
When it comes to Germany, their recent record is not that great, having lost six and drawn two of their last eight matches. The Germans might not be playing at their fluent best at the moment, but if you were to ask the Swedes who they would rather play out of England or Germany, we are sure that they will opt for the latter. If you sit back for 90 minutes against the Germans, they will put the ball in the net at some point.
If they managed to make it past England or Germany, it is likely that they will face the Netherlands in the semi-finals. Once again, even though they would have beaten England or Germany to get there, the Swedes would be underdogs with the bookmakers once again. Their last three games against the Dutch have seen one win, one draw, and one defeat, and while we can see Sweden scraping a win against misfiring German and England team, the Dutch have been on form this competition, and we would back them to go on to win.
If, and it is a big if, the Swedes somehow manage to upset all the odds and make it to the final, they would come up against either France, Belgium, Italy, and we think they would need a bigger miracle to beat any of those teams.
So, how far can Sweden go? Well, if they can make it to the semi-finals, it will have been a very good tournament for them. However, if we were to put a bet on it, we would say that they will be knocked out by whoever they play in the quarterfinals, should they get past Ukraine.