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Sweden vs Georgia prediction, preview, team news and more | 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

39-year old Zlatan Ibrahimovic is in line to make his first Sweden appearance since June 2016
39-year old Zlatan Ibrahimovic is in line to make his first Sweden appearance since June 2016
Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Modified 23 Mar 2021
Feature

Sweden welcome Georgia to the Friends Arena in Solna on Thursday as the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers begin.

The Blagult will be looking to pick up the pieces after a disastrous Nations League campaign last year and book their place at the Qatar showpiece.

They were relegated from Tier A of the competition after losing five times in six games. However, it was an admittedly tough group with France, Portugal and Croatia alongside them.

However, the Nordic outfit will be hoping to gain some form before the upcoming European championship.

What holds them in good stead is the return of talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who's been included in Janne Andersson's squad.

The all-time Swedish top scorer retired from international duty after Euro 2016, but a good run in recent months prompted a shock return from exile.

Georgia are the obvious underdogs here but were fairly impressive during the Euro qualifiers, losing only in the finals of the playoffs to North Macedonia.


Sweden vs Georgia Head-To-Head

Interestingly, this will be the first-ever competitive game between Sweden and Georgia. The two sides have not even played a friendly game with each other before.

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Sweden Form Guide (all competitions): L-L-L-W-L

Georgia Form Guide (all competitions): D-D-L-L-D


Sweden vs Georgia Team News

Sweden

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is obviously the biggest name in Andersson's squad. But the Swedish national team also features talented stars like Dejan Kulusevski, Robin Quaison, Marcus Berg, Emil Forsberg, and Alexander Isak.

However, the Blagult will be missing a few experienced players. Martin Olsson and John Guidetti haven't been called up, while Koln star Sebastian Andersson withdrew from the squad.

Injured: None

Suspended: None

Unavailable: Martin Olsson, John Guidetti, and Sebastian Andersson

Georgia

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Willy Sagnol has named a fairly young squad for this month's triple header, with 93-cap veteran Jaba Kankava leading the line once again.

Valeri Qazaishvili, Murtaz Daushvili, and Valerian Gvilia, who have a combined 120 caps between them, haven't been called up this time.

Injured: None

Suspended: None

Unavailable: Valeri Qazaishvili, Murtaz Daushvili, and Valerian Gvilia


Sweden vs Georgia Predicted XI

Sweden (4-4-2): Robin Olsen; Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelof, Filip Helander, Pierre Bengtsson; Viktor Claesson, Kristoffer Olsson, Sebastian Larsson, Emil Forsberg; Marcus Berg, Dejan Kulusevski.

Georgia (4-2-3-1): Giorgi Loria; Otar Kakabadze, Guram Koshia, Davit Khocholava, Jemal Tabidze; Nika Kvekveskiri, Jaba Kankava; Tornike Okriashvili, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Saba Lobzhanidze; Giorgi Kvilitaia


Sweden vs Georgia Prediction

Sweden are the clear favorites here, even though Ibrahimovic is not likely to start.

The home side have enough firepower to see off their Georgian visitors.

Prediction: Sweden 2-0 Georgia

Published 23 Mar 2021, 13:27 IST
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