It’s been a complicated preparatory campaign for Luis Enrique, whose Spain squad were forced to go into isolation and withdraw from their final warm-up game against Lithuania, with six players added to a parallel “training bubble” just in case. Among those on standby are Pablo Fornals and Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Either way, La Roja enter Euro 2020 with their own internal issues. Both Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique were omitted from Enrique’s initial 24-man squad, with the former Barcelona tactician opting against selecting 26 players, while there is a discernible lack of firepower going forward compared to past squads.
The halcyon days of 2008 to 2012 seem an age away now, but Enrique is a shrewd tactician and has cultivated a winning mentality in his players — with Spain going unbeaten in their qualifying campaign — so the lack of a renowned dressing-room leader may not be a game-changing issue, given the quality among his ranks.
Sweden remain riding the crest of a wave following their impressive 2018 World Cup campaign, in which Janne Andersson’s men reached the quarter-finals, and a certain Alexander Isak has since come to the fore, making the Blue and Yellow a very ominous proposition for Spain.
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Spain vs Sweden: Match Stats
Spain and Sweden were actually drawn into Group F of the Euro 2020 qualifiers, and in truth, both nations breezed to entrance for the continent’s flagship tournament. Spain were utterly ruthless and dominant, going unbeaten across their 10 games and winning eight, while netting an impressive 31 goals (incredibly Ramos finished joint-top scorer with four), made all the more impressive when you consider they conceded just five times. Sweden also conceded just single figures (nine) and bagged a commendable 23 goals as they endured just the single defeat. Impressive stuff from both sides.
Spain vs Sweden: Corner Stats
It will come as no surprise that Spain rack up a considerable number of corners given the emphasis on utilising overlapping full-backs, of which Jordi Alba is one of modern football’s greatest proponents. In 2021 alone, Spain are averaging five corners per 90 minutes, though Sweden are certainly no laggards, averaging 4.6 per 90 themselves, boasting their own buccaneering left-back in Ludwig Augustinsson.
Spain vs Sweden: Cards Stats
As for cards, Sweden have been regulars in the referee’s notebook since the turn of the year, collecting eight yellows in just five matches, including a booking each for Pierre Bengtsson and Viktor Claesson in a recently friendly against Armenia. Spain meanwhile have been a referee’s dream, receiving just three yellow cards this year, and without Ramos for Euro 2020, that number is likely to stay low.
15 Oct 2019 – Sweden 1-1 Spain – European Championship qualifying
10 June 2019 – Spain 3-0 Sweden – European Championship qualifying
14 june 2008 – Sweden 1-2 Spain – Euro 2008
17 Nov 2007 – Spain 3-0 Sweden – European Championship qualifying
07 Oct 2006 – Sweden 2-0 Spain – European Championship qualifying
These nations are certainly well-acquainted when it comes to the Euros. As mentioned they met in the qualifiers for this competition, in which Spain ran out 3-0 victors at ‘home’, with goals from Ramos, Morata and Mikel Oyarzabal sealing the deal, while Sweden will take confidence from their 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture. The Blue and Yellow were seconds from victory but Rodrigo bagged an equaliser right at the death. This will also be a reunion of a showdown in Euro 2008, in which Spain beat Sweden in Group D en route to continental triumph.