The deciding game on who will follow Spain to the 1/4-finals to face Netherlands.
Due to Russias 4:1 defeat vs Spain they now need the win to advance. Sweden is good with a draw.
I’ve been looking up some stats and, very surprisingly, found out Sweden has only had 3 group stage losses total in the last 7 championships (92’ 94’ 00’ 02’ 04’ 06’ 08’). 2 of them came in Euro2000 and the third one vs Spain yesterday in extra time.
Here’s the break down:
Overall championship games since 1992:
10 wins – 10 draws – 8 losses
Group stage games only since 1992:
7 wins – 10 draws – 3 losses
Managed group stage draws since 1992 vs:
England*2, Argentina, Brazil, Italy, France, Turkey, Denmark, Cameroon, Trinidad
Group stage losses since 1992:
Spain (92m winning goal), Belgium, Italy
Overall EURO/WC losses since 1992:
Germany (knock out stage) 92'
Brazil (80-minute winning goal in knock out stage) 94'
Senegal (overtime in knock out stage) 02'
Holland (penalties after overtime in knock out stage) 04'
Germany (knock out stage) 06'
Spain (92-minute winning goal) 08'
Sweden is extremely hard to beat over 90 minutes. As shown above, since 1992 Sweden were behind after 90-minutes only 3 times in group stage + 3 times in knock out stages (Germany*2 + Brazil). Impressive considering 6 full tournaments plus the current one. Spain certainly managed a rare feat yesterday.
Sweden is the ultimate “not to be behind after 90 minutes”-team regardless of their often lesser talented side going into the games. Considering the above stats one would expect them to pull it off again vs Russia and reach the knock out stage for the 4th consecutive tournament. After that they’ll probably evaporate as usual.
Russias chance lie in the fact they HAVE to win and their attacking play suits an assignment like that. Chances go up considerably if Ibra doesn't play as Ibra could be lethal if Russia pushes hard giving the swedish attack some space on the counters. Sweden will be compact in the defense and probably give the initiative to the russians voluntarely.
I expect a nailbiting game for supporters on both sides as I believe no team will be up by 2 goals going into the final minutes of the game. Sweden has NEVER been down by more than 1 goal going into the last 10 minutes of a group stage game in all of their EC and WC history
. Another impressive feat. A draw currently seems the most likely, with or without Ibra.
I have pulled my stats from these pages: