Euro 2016: Sweden vs Belgium - Live stream info, probable line-up, head to head(h2h) record and match preview
Belgium and Sweden lock horns to decide who joins Italy from group E in the round of 16.
Sweden and Belgium will face off against each other in what promises to be a titanic encounter. The top spot in group E has already been secured by Italy, for all practical purposes, and the remaining three teams are going to scrap it out in the final set of fixtures for the remaining spots in the round-of-16.
This match is important for Sweden for a number of reasons. Firstly Euro 2016 for them has been characterised by luck not being on their side. A 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland followed by a 1-0 loss to Italy leaves the Swedes with just 1 point from their opening 2 fixtures.
Anything other than a win against Belgium will see them eliminated. Secondly, Sweden’s best football player for over a decade, the enigma that is Zlatan Ibrahimovic has announced he shall retire from international football after Euro 2016.
Sweden fans will be fervently praying that the maverick forward does not have to bid adieu on such a sorry note, having been eliminated from Euro 2016 in the group stage.
Belgium came roaring back into Euro 2016, after a miserable opening match against Italy. Following a 2-0 defeat, the entire squad came in for a lot of flak. They picked themselves up and put on a fine display against the Republic of Ireland to win comprehensively by 3-0.
With three points in the kitty and a positive goal difference, Belgium are well poised to make it through. However more is expected from the team ranked 2nd in the world rankings currently. Qualification is necessary, but qualifying emphatically is mandatory too. This match is for Belgium to prove that the performance against Ireland wasn’t a one off, and indeed, this squad of talented individuals can play as a team on a regular basis.
Live Stream and kick-off time
The match will be live from 00:30 IST (Thursday), 20:00 BST (Wednesday). Watch live streaming of Sweden vs Belgium on SonyLIV. Follow Sweden vs Belgium, Euro 2016 Live Score and Commentary with Sportskeeda. The match will be telecasted live on Sony Six and Sony Six HD in India, Fox Sports in the USA and Premier Sports in the UK. The match will be played at the Stade de Nice in Nice.
Mikael Lustig will be missed by Sweden as their regular right back has a groin strain. John Guidetti’s poor form will probably mean he will start on the bench again. Vertonghen and Vermaelen of Belgium are expected to start despite being a booking away from a suspension.
Sweden: Isaksson; Johansson, Lindelof, Granqvist, Olsson; Larsson, Lewicki, Kallstrom, Forsberg; Ibrahimovic, Berg
Belgium: Courtois; Ciman, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Witsel, Nainggolan; Carrasco, De Bruyne, Hazard; Lukaku
Form Guide (most recent games first)
Sweden have won only one of their last 5 fixtures, drawing 3 and losing one.
Belgium have won 3 lost one and drawn one in their past 5 matches.
Head to Head
Sweden and Belgium have met on 14 occasions with Sweden emerging victorious 5 times, Belgium 7 times, and 2 matches ended in a draw. The 2 sides met only once in international competitions, with Belgium triumphing 2-1 in the opening match of Euro 2000. The last encounter was a friendly in 2014 which was won by Belgium.
The whole world’s eyes will be watching to see if this is the last time we shall see Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Sweden’s national colours. Sweden have been lacklustre and devoid of ideas across the pitch. Supply to their maverick forward has been limited and of poor quality. With virtually no help from his teammates, it is going to be a Herculean task for Ibrahimovic alone, to haul Sweden into the round of 16.
The Belgians looked like a polished unit against the Republic of Ireland. Finally, they played together as a team rather than 11 talented individuals. They will be hoping to carry on that form and make a statement about their intentions.
With Belgium coming into this match on fine form and Sweden evidently lacking quality across the pitch, one can expect a comfortable margin of victory for the Belgians. 2-0 to the Red Devils.