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Preview: Sweden v Belgium

Published: Tuesday 21 June 2016, 20.30CET
It is win or bust for Sweden and, with Zlatan Ibrahimović announcing that, like coach Erik Hamrén, his Blågult career ends when their tournament does, there is no shortage of incentive.
Preview: Sweden v Belgium
Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden) ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

SwedenBelgium

Goals scored1
 
9
Possession (%)52
 
48
Total attempts23
 
98
on target3
 
35
off target12
 
38
blocked8
 
25
against woodwork0
 
0
Corners13
 
41
Offsides8
 
12
Yellow cards4
 
9
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed39
 
50
Fouls suffered38
 
51

Press kits

  • Match press kit (local language)
SSI Err
Published: Tuesday 21 June 2016, 20.30CET

Preview: Sweden v Belgium

It is win or bust for Sweden and, with Zlatan Ibrahimović announcing that, like coach Erik Hamrén, his Blågult career ends when their tournament does, there is no shortage of incentive.

Possible line-ups
Sweden: Isaksson; Lindelöf, Johansson, Granqvist, Olsson; Larsson, Ekdal, Källström, Forsberg; Berg, Ibrahimović.
Doubtful: Lustig (groin)
Misses next match if booked: Lindelöf, Olsson

Belgium: Courtois; Meunier, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Witsel, Nainggolan; Mertens, De Bruyne, Hazard; Lukaku.
Doubtful: Dembélé (ankle), Carrasco (ankle)
Misses next match if booked:
Vermaelen, Vertonghen

Coach quotes
Erik Hamrén, Sweden
Zlatan means a lot to us, as he's shown in the past. In qualifying he decided most of our games; he's a big part of our attack but he can't do it alone. We have to be better in our offence as a team.

Should we start the game on the attack and risk conceding or start out more carefully? That's something I have a little bit more time to figure out how exactly to balance, but we need to respect Belgium. They have a very strong attack and a couple of individual players who are very skilful. We have to stop them. If we can do that we will also create chances ourselves.

But if we think that we can just go out there, do whatever and forget all about their qualities, they will punish us. It has to be about using our brains and neutralising them. My message to the players is that we have everything to play for. If we get a good result we're still in it; if we get a bad result we're out of the tournament.

Hazard: Lukaku will be the difference

Marc Wilmots, Belgium
Zlatan could be a danger because it is perhaps his final game and he will obviously want to go out with a bang. But that will depend on us. We must avoid any emotional attachment. Even if the manager is going to retire, even if Ibrahimović is going to retire, even if other players are going to retire. That is Sweden's issue, not ours.

This is another cup final. I hope we have a lot of possession, pass the ball about well and make them run as much as possible, while managing to create a lot of chances and, hopefully, putting them away.

Sweden are a very compact team, who defend well with two solid banks of four and two up top, who are very skilful. So we need to be very cautious and very compact ourselves.

Ibrahimović announces his retirement

UEFA.com team reporters
Sujay Dutt, Sweden (@UEFAcomSujayD)
The English expression "do or die" has cropped up in plenty of the Sweden players' interviews in recent days. With just one point after two games, a draw will not be much good for Sweden, but while a win should see them through, don't expect all-out attacking football. Sweden know how dangerous Belgium are, and that a solid defensive foundation is essential. And after two rather subdued performances from Zlatan Ibrahimović, it could be the Belgians who feel the full force of the big man – especially now he has confirmed his retirement plans.

Berend Scholten, Belgium (@UEFAcomBerendS)
Belgium should be in confident mood after the 3-0 win against Ireland despite injury doubts about Mousa Dembélé and Yannick Carrasco. Wilmots will leave it late to make his final selection but has more than capable replacements such as Radja Nainggolan and Dries Mertens.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Sweden: LDWDDLDWWW
Belgium
: WLWDWLWWWW

Did you know?
Co-hosts Belgium, featuring current coach Marc Wilmots in their lineup, overcame Sweden 2-1 in the opening match of UEFA EURO 2000 thanks to goals from Bart Goor and Émile Mpenza. However, neither team reached the quarter-finals. Find out more in our extensive match background.

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Watch all of Zlatan Ibrahimović’s EURO goals

Last updated: 22/06/16 20.03CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2016/matches/round=2000448/match=2017957/prematch/preview/index.html#sweden+belgium+preview