Sweden is back on the big stage after missing out on two previous World Cups. They had a really tough group in qualifications, but they managed to be ahead of Netherlands and enter the play offs to compete for the place at the World Cup with Italy.
TThey are defensive minded team, spending most of the time in compact and organized 4-4-2 low block, with very small space between the lines so opponent’s creative players had issues to dictate the play on their half of the field.
- Opponent’s attacks are forced into wide areas, having physical presence at the back to deal with crosses. They allow very little time and space for opponents to consider their options, and recently opponents had real issues to deal with this kind of defensive organization – they haven’t conceded in last two matches against Denmark and Peru.
If wide areas of the field are overloaded, full-backs move out of positions to close down the player with the ball while centre-backs stay in the box to deal with crosses. This opens up space between centre-back and full-back which was exploited in match against Peru especially.
- In attack they apply more direct approach, looking to deliver long balls towards the front two who provide flick-ons in behind or layoffs towards midfielders who move up to attack second balls.
If opponents don’t press them high up the field, they develop most of attacks down the right flank in order to allow Forsberg to move inside from the left and operate in between the lines, as he is the most creative player in the team. They are a big threat when it comes to set-pieces, having Forsberg as a set-piece taker and physical presence in the squad to hurt opponents in these kind of situations.