Fussball Server previews Saturday’s UEFA Nations League clash between Sweden and France, including team news and predicted lineups.
France will be looking to get their 2020-21 UEFA Nations League campaign off to a positive start when they take on Sweden in Group 3 of League A on Saturday night.
Didier Deschamps‘s side failed to progress through the group stage in the 2018-19 competition, while Sweden earned promotion to Group A courtesy of finishing top of Group B2 ahead of Russia and Turkey.
Sweden picked up seven points from their four Group B2 games in the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League to finish top of the section, meaning that they were promoted to League A for the 2020-21 competition.
The Blue and Yellows have a tough task on their hands to finish top of this particular group, though, as they will also take on Portugal and Croatia in Group 3 of League A.
Janne Andersson‘s side will be present in next summer’s European Championships, having enjoyed an impressive qualification campaign, finishing second behind Spain in Group F on 21 points.
Sweden’s main focus will be on preparing for the tournament next year, although they will enter this match in good form, winning six of their last eight games in all competitions, remaining unbeaten in the process.
France, meanwhile, picked up seven points from their four matches against the Netherlands and Germany in the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League but ultimately finished second in the section.
Les Bleus are the reigning world champions, though, and will be amongst the favourites to win next summer’s European Championships, which are due to get underway in June 2021.
Deschamps’s side breezed through their Euro qualification campaign, winning eight of their 10 matches, picking up 25 points to finish ahead of Turkey at the summit.
Like Sweden, the Blues will bring a strong run into this match, having won six of their last seven matches, remaining unbeaten in the process, and they will be determined to triumph on Saturday night.
Deschamps has said ahead of the match that he wants to “work on several tactical schemes” before the Euros, and it will be fascinating to see how the 2018 World Cup winners approach the UEFA Nations League.
Sweden Nations League form: LDWW
Sweden form (all competitions): WDWWWW
France Nations League form: DWWL
France form (all competitions): WWWDWW
Sweden are expected to have Manchester United centre-back Victor Lindelof in their first XI, while veteran midfielder Sebastian Larsson is also likely to feature in the starting side.
Marcus Berg is the leading scorer in the squad with 21 international goals and could again be joined by Robin Quaison in attack, although Alexander Isak is pushing for a position in the side.
Juventus attacker Dejan Kulusevski will also be hoping to earn just his second cap for the national team.
As for France, Paul Pogba and Tanguy Ndombele were both forced to withdraw from the France squad ahead of this match after testing positive for coronavirus.
The Blues have the majority of their star players available, though, with the likes of Raphael Varane, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe all in line to start on Saturday night.
Anthony Martial is also back in the squad after an excellent season for Man United and could start, while in-demand central defender Dayot Upamecano will be hoping to make his first international appearance.
Sweden possible starting lineup:
Olsen; Lustig, Lindelof, Helander, Augustinsson; Larsson, Ekdal, Olsson, Forsberg; Quaison, Berg
France possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Dubois, Varane, Lenglet, F Mendy; Kante, Sissoko; Martial, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud
We say: Sweden 1-2 France
Sweden are certainly capable of making it a difficult evening for the world champions, but we just believe that France will have too much quality in the final third of the field, with Martial, Griezmann and Mbappe potentially operating behind lone forward Olivier Giroud.