Spain will host Sweden at Estadio de La Cartuja for their EURO 2020 opener on Monday, June 14. It will mark the first head-to-head bout between these two sides since October 2019, when Sweden forced a draw (1-1) at home, and their first meeting in Spain since June 2019, when Spain secured a commanding 3-0 victory.
Spain vs Sweden
Where: Estadio de La Cartuja in Sevilla, Spain
When: Monday, June 14 – 21:00 CEST
Weather: Clear, 29°C
Referee: Slavko Vinčić (SLO)
Both Spain and Sweden are without a single loss in 2021. Is that going to remain the case for a while longer? The two teams square off tonight in Sevilla.
The hosts come in as favourites in bookmakers’ eyes, with odds on Spain being as short as 1.30. That seems suspiring, considering that La Roja have plenty of injury concerns to deal with.
Busquets and a Few Others Out After Failing COVID-19 Test
Luis Enrique is the only head coach who decided not to take 26 players to the Euros. Instead, he felt 24 players are enough.
The manager of the Spanish national team decided to leave the former captain Sergio Ramos home. Instead of him, Sergio Busquets was supposed to take over as their skipper at the Euro 2020.
The problem with that plan is that the Barcelona player has tested positive for COVID-19, meaning that Busquets will not be able to take part in tonight’s game. Due to the “Busquets situation”, La Roja created a separate training bubble for five of their players – Rodrigo, Raul Albiol Pablo Fornals, Carlos Soler, and Brais Mendez.
Since they haven’t been practising with their teammates, it’s highly likely that all five will miss this game as well.
Despite having problems with absentees, Spain still have a lot of talent in the squad. Atletico Madrid’s midfielder Koke is likely to be the skipper in this game, with Ferran Torres and Villarreal’s Gerard Moreno expected to take charge of scoring goals. The 29-year-old scored 23 goals in La Liga last season – second only to Lionel Messi.
Scorching-Hot Temperature Could Mean problems for Sweden
The temperature at the kick-off is expected to be around 29°C. That’s almost double digits over of the temperature the Swedes are used to in their home country. Needless to say, the Scandinavians aren’t used to playing at nearly 30°C.
Nevertheless, the stakes are high, and they’re determined not to let the hot weather ruin their game. The Blue and Yellow have been showing great form of late and should feel confident about their chances to cause some damage in tonight’s match. What’s more, the Swedes haven’t conceded a single goal in ther last five outings.
This shouldn’t come as a big surprise, knowing that Janne Andersson fields some fantastic defenders. Man United’s Victor Lindelof is their key man in the back, together with their 36-year-old captain Andreas Granqvist.
On a more negative note, the Swedes will be without a rising star Dejan Kulusevski, who’s been terrific for Juventus lately. He’s out after testing positive for COVID-19, however, that shouldn’t concern Andersson too much.
Sweden still have Alexander Isak at their disposal. The 21-year-old has been phenomenal for Real Sociedad this season. The guy is strong and pacey, with an eye for a goal, and is expected to carry most of the goalscoring load at EURO 2020.
Spain defenders will have big problems taming the forward. There’s no doubt about that.
Spain vs Sweden Betting Picks
Sure, Spain are the favourites in this game, but bookmakers seem to underestimate Sweden quite a bit. The Blue and Yellow are a very solid team in the back and excel in counter-attacks.
The Swedes have proven to be tough to beat even for Europe’s elite teams, and they’ll definitely look to make things difficult for tonight’s hosts.
Prediction: Sweden +1.50 Asian Handicap – 1.77 at Pinnacle (1.88 at Bet365 when sent to premium members)
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