With the international break upon us, this Thursday sees the final qualifiers for Euro 2021 begin. Meanwhile, there are also a number of international friendlies, and one of them sees Russia play host to Sweden.
Both teams have already qualified for Euro 2021, and so this should act as a warm-up of sorts for the UEFA Nations League matches they have coming up at the weekend.
However, with bragging rights on the line, both sides will be looking for a win.
Russia vs Sweden Head-to-Head
In terms of head-to-head results, the advantage in this game lies with Sweden. They hold four wins over Russia compared to two losses, and most recently the Swedes defeated the Russians in UEFA Nations League action in November 2018.
Recent results have been positive for Russia – they’ve won five of their last six games, with the only loss coming to Belgium last November. Most recently, they defeated Serbia and Hungary in UEFA Nations League action.
Sweden, meanwhile, were defeated in both of their UEFA Nations League games, falling to high-level opponents in the form of France and Portugal. Before that though, they’d won four matches in a row.
Russia form guide: W-L-W-W-W
Sweden form guide: W-W-W-L-L
Russia vs Sweden Team News
Russia boss Stanislav Cherchesov has lost a number of the players who featured in their September squad, with the likes of Monaco’s Aleksandr Golovin and Lokomotiv Moscow’s Fyodor Smolov out of action due to injuries. Key men Artem Dzyuba and Denis Cheryshev have been called up, though.
Injured: Roman Neustadter, Yegor Sorokin, Rifat Zhemaletdinov, Aleksandr Golovin, Fyodor Smolov, Yevgeni Lutsenko
Sweden have seen forward Sebastian Andersson withdraw from the current squad with an injury, while a handful of other players selected in September have not returned to the squad due to their own fitness concerns. Captain Andreas Granqvist also remains sidelined. For the most part though, Janne Andersson has a full-strength side.
Injured: Andreas Granqvist, Sebastian Andersson, John Guidetti, Isaac Kiese Thelin
Russia vs Sweden Predicted XI
Russia predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Anton Shunin, Mario Fernandes, Andrey Semenov, Georgi Dzhikiya, Fyodor Kudryashov, Magomed Ozdoev, Roman Zobnin, Denis Cheryshev, Anton Miranchuk, Daler Kuzyaev, Artem Dzyuba
Sweden predicted XI (4-4-2): Robin Olsen, Emil Krafth, Filip Helander, Victor Lindelof, Ludwig Augustinsson, Emil Forsberg, Kristoffer Olsson, Gustav Svensson, Dejan Kulusevski, Alexander Isak, Marcus Berg
Russia vs Sweden Prediction
Russia have been in good form of late but it must be stated that their opposition have been relatively poor. Sweden promise to be a much trickier test for them, but this will still be a tough game given that they are without their captain.
Overall, I suspect Sweden will have a slight edge, but Russia’s home advantage should make them tough to break down, meaning a draw is the most likely outcome.
Prediction: Russia 1-1 Sweden