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Both of these sides opened their campaign with positive results. Sweden held Spain to a goalless stalemate, albeit with their opponents having their chances in front of goal, while Slovakia earnt a win over Poland, even if they benefited from Grzegorz Krychowiak’s harsh sending off before finding the winner.
Those results leave Sweden unbeaten in six, winning each of their previous five, while Slovakia are also unbeaten in six, although four of these ended in stalemates.
Both sides are better equipped at the back than going forwards, with Sweden even conceding just once in six, so we’d expect this encounter to be decided by fine margins.
In fact, only one of Slovakia’s past 13 matches have been settled one way or the other by more than a single goal, with over half of them ending in a draw over 90 minutes.
Sweden To Win To Nil
Sweden don’t look like losing this one with each of their past seven defeats coming against either France, Spain, Portugal, Denmark or Croatia, all of whom are considerably better than their opponents here.
However, six of the Swede’s nine victories since the start of 2020 have come by just a single strike, with the exceptions against weaker outfits Kosovo, Finland and Armenia.
Sweden To Win 1-0
This spell included narrow 1-0 wins over the likes of Moldova, Kosovo, Georgia and Estonia, so the correct score is worth paying attention to here.
Although Slovakia scored twice against Poland, it was notable that their opener came from an own goal as Robert Mak’s shot cannoned off the post onto the back of goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, while the winner came from Milan Skriniar’s sweet strike from the edge of the box.
We wouldn’t put too much faith in their centre-back, undoubtedly their best player, coming up trumps again in the opposition box. Further, with three points already under their belts, they’ll be more likely to dig in for another valuable point that would likely send them into the next round.
Alexander Isak To Score First
Although neither side looks too adventurous, Alexander Isak stands out in the goalscorer market after a fantastic campaign for Real Sociedad, where his 17 La Liga goals earnt him the young player of the season award.
He looked by far Sweden’s most dangerous threat against Spain, with one shot cleared off the line onto the post, while later on squirming through three Spanish players before unselfishly squaring it for teammate Marcus Berg at the far post.
The 21-year-old has a decent return of six goals from 23 caps, despite 11 of these appearances coming from the bench, but with veteran star man Zlatan Ibrahimovic suffering injury before the tournament, he’ll be sure to start up front once again.
For club or country, he’s bagged the opener in five of the last seven matches in which he’s scored, and in a game where there shouldn’t be an excess of chances, stands a good chance of striking first.