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France booked their spot in the Nations League finals with a victory over current holders Portugal at the weekend. N’Golo Kante tapped in the winner from two yards out to inflict a first competitive home defeat on the Portuguese for over six years, and the World Champions will march into this next game against the relegation battling Swedes.
Janne Andersson’s men kept their hopes of avoiding relegation alive when beating Croatia 2-1 last time out, putting them level on points with the Croatians with three and this will be a straight shootout to see who avoids the drop from League A3.
Given the UEFA Nations League rules, a bigger onus is put on head-to-heads, but with both of them winning their respective home games 2-1 against one another, it will go down goal difference from all their group matches.
Interestingly, they both currently sit on -6 in that regard, and so whoever has the better result in this final fixture, and more likely, whoever loses by the smaller margin will stay up.
Les Bleus have a magnificent wealth of talent in their ranks and Didier Deschamps will certainly want to end on a high with this being the final competitive match they have before the Euros next summer.
However, he’ll know more than most that international football is about taking opportunities to try new players and combinations, and he’ll likely look to give Kurt Zouma, Steven Nzonzi, Lucas Digne and Corentin Tolisso a chance, while the illustrious Kylian Mbappe returns from injury.
France To Win And Both Teams To Score
Each of those replacements have star quality and we somewhat doubt that’ll hinder their performance too much.
Moreover, considering France have won 18 of their last 23 unbeaten competitive home matches since April 2013, we somewhat doubt the Swedes are capable of denting that record.
That does only include three clean sheets from their last 10 such matches though, as Moldova, Turkey, Albania and Belarus to name a few scored against them, while they also managed to concede twice against Finland in a friendly at the start of this international break.
Although Sweden have struggled to find the net themselves, with the likes of highly-rated Juventus winger Dejan Kulusevski and Marcus Berg in attack, they should pose a serious threat.
Moreover, in their matches with the top sides since mid-October last year (Spain, Croatia, Denmark, Portugal and Russia), they’ve scored in five of their nine matches, as three of their blanks came against defensive-minded teams Portugal (twice) and Denmark.
However, they only managed to go W2-D1-L6 across those matches and we just can’t see any sort of upset occurring in this one.