Sweden World Cup squad guide: Full fixtures, group, ones to watch, odds and more

PROFILE: With the tournament only days away we take an in-depth look at all 32 teams in Russia

Jack Watson
Saturday 09 June 2018 16:27 BST
2018 Russia World Cup in numbers

Sweden are playing in a major tournament without Zlatan Ibrahimović for the first time since 2000. Where Sweden used to style their game around getting the best out of their world-class striker, they have now focused on working as a close-knit team.

The squad looks thin and shallow on quality, meaning their manager, Janne Andersson, prefers to play a 4-4-2 formation to get as many players involved in attacking moves as possible.

Sweden have struggled to score goals and drew blanks against Denmark and Romania in friendlies. Ola Toivonen no longer makes the first team at Toulouse, Marcus Berg plays in the United Arab Emirates, Isaac Kiese-Thelin has been doing okay in the Belgian league, and John Guidetti has just one international goal to his name. Sweden have a big attacking problem.


Sweden vs South Korea – 13:00, Monday 18 June
Germany vs Sweden – 19:00, Saturday 23 June
Mexico vs Sweden – 15:00, Wednesday 27 June

Key players

Emil Forsberg: While Sweden are missing a player to finish chances, they certainly have somebody who can create them. Emil Forsberg has made clubs across Europe, including Arsenal, take interest in him after another good season with RB Leipzig. His goals, assists and all round build-up play makes him one of the best technical players Sweden have.

(Getty Images)

Victor Lindelof: His first season at Manchester United has been one of highs and lows. High-profile mistakes that led to goals against Huddersfield early in the season meant he had to wait for another opportunity to prove his ability. “I think I’ve become a better player at United an I am improving,” he said after his first season with the Red Devils.

Sebastian Larsson: Given Sweden struggle to score from open play, Sebastian Larsson’s fearsome free kicks could be useful for Sweden as well as his delivers from corners. Larsson, 33, played all but 20 minutes of Sweden’s 2016 European Championship campaign, where Sweden finishED bottom of their group.

One to watch

Emil Krafth: Sweden are not blessed with a huge deal of young talent, but 23-year-old right back Emil Krafth could be emerging as a good player. He became the fifth youngest player to play for the Swedish under-21 team, aged 17, and currently plays for Bologna but has had an injury hit season.

How did they get here?

Sweden clinched second place in their qualifying group ahead of Netherlands through having a higher goal difference, meaning their World Cup fate would be decided in the play-offs. Sweden got the toughest draw and would have to beat Italy over two legs to progress to the summer tournament. Jakob Johansson struck the only goal of the first leg, and a 0-0 draw in Milan meant Sweden upset the odds to reach Russia ahead of Italy.

How will they do?

Sweden have not won a match at an international tournament since the 2012 Euros and have qualified for their first World Cup since Germany 2006. Their poor international record along with their weak squad means even winning a game may represent an achievement for Sweden.

Odds on Sweden winning the World Cup: 150/1


Goalkeepers: Robin Olsen, Karl-Johan Johnsson, Kristoffer Nordfeldt.

Defenders: Mikael Lustig, Victor Nilsson-Lindelof, Andreas Granqvist, Martin Olsson, Ludwig Augustinsson, Filip Helander, Pontus Jansson, Emil Krafth.

Midfielders: Emil Forsberg, Albin Ekdal, Viktor Claesson, Gustav Svensson, Sebastian Larsson, Jimmy Durmaz, Oscar Hiljemark, Marcus Rohden.

Forwards: Marcus Berg, Ola Toivonen, John Guidetti, Isaac Kiese-Thelin.

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