Spain will take the field on Monday afternoon to kick-off their Euro 2020 campaign in the heat of Seville. Their opponents from Sweden likely won’t be acclimatized to the rigorous conditions, so it should be intriguing to see what type of match we get – especially in the latter stages.
Spain enters this tournament with high hopes as always, though it will be interesting to see how much their talented youth options appear throughout their matches. The next generation is likely ready, but will coach Luis Enrique turn the keys over just yet? That is one storyline to follow with the Spaniards at Euro 2020. Another issue, and one that is surely more pressing has been a recent COVID-19 scare within the camp. While most players have dodged it, captain Sergio Busquets remains in isolation days before their first match vs. the Swedes. It remains to be seen if the influential midfielder will be ready to start on Monday.
For Sweden, the spirits are high and many conditions seem to favour them entering this contest. They’ve secured wins in two straight preparation matches, and even without Zlatan Ibrahimovic as a striker, the Swedes enter with a complete lineup, one devoid of real holes. The Swedes are very familiar with Spain, going back to the Euro Qualifiers – where they finished second, just behind this Spanish side.
We could very well see the top-two sides in the group go head-to-head right from the first matchday. Can the Swedes react well to the heat in Seville and shock the depleted Spaniards? Or will the experience of Spain in big matches shine through on home soil? We’ve got all the action covered, so keep on reading beneath the posted odds for further insight and analysis for what promises to be a fascinating showdown. Enjoy this Group E action!
Spain vs. Sweden Betting Odds:
Over 2.5 (-115)
Under 2.5 (-105)
Spain -1 (-160)
Sweden +1 (+140)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Spain vs. Sweden Pick:
While the status of Busquets remains in question for Spain entering their first match, it seems unlikely he’ll be fit for the first clash after missing so many training sessions. While that may impact their effectiveness, don’t expect a chance in formation from manager Luis Enrique. The Spaniards will line-up in a familiar 4-1-4-1, keen to control the bulk of possession and dictate the pace with sublime passing and dribbling.
Expect full-backs Jordi Alba and Cesar Azpilicueta to be very influential from kick-off, as the Spain tactics ask a lot out of them. That duo possess excellent pace and crossing ability, and should keep the Swedes honest with frequent overlapping runs on the attack. Man City’s Rodri will be influential as the holding midfielder in the centre of the pitch, while Barcelona’s Pedri could get a start in the midfield. The young Spaniard boasts unbelievable skill and could be key to unlocking a rigid Swedish shape.
Sweden are here on the backs of excellent shape and structure, and likely won’t deviate too much from their rigid 4-4-2 set-up under manager Janne Andersson. They are a big side in stature, and will use their physicality to try and muscle the Spanish off of the ball with regularity. A big focus for Sweden in this contest will be focusing the Spanish out wide and forcing them to deliver crosses into the box – a place where the height of the Swedes likely gives them an advantage.
While the Swedes will be fine to sit back and strike on the counter, expect a real emphasis to be placed on them getting ten behind the ball and actively defending the Spanish when they approach their territory. Victor Lindelof, the Man United defender will need to be sturdy at the back, while captain Sebastian Larsson will need to be crucial in both disrupting Spain’s flow in the midfield, and in delivering key balls to their talented young striker, Alexander Isak. The rangy goal-scorer thrived in La Liga this past season, and is very familiar with the defense and style of this Spanish style. He’ll be counted upon heavily in this tournament for the underdog Swedes.
While there is a clear and decisive gap in skill and talent in this match-up, the Swedes do have the right make-up to offer some resistance to the favoured Spanish. La Roja will dominate possession, but they still lack a dominant goal scorer, and that could frustrate them as minutes tick off the clock. As a result, expect a low-scoring clash, and one in which should make for a cagey game without too many chances at goal. Ultimately I do think the Spaniards will find a late goal, but the Swedish side defend well and defend together, and won’t make it easy. Expect a narrow Spanish win to nil, and this match to stay under the 2.5 total goals for Monday.