England got the better of Sweden in the 2015 group stage and have a strong record against the holders in recent years as they prepare to meet again in Group A.
Article top media content
Holders Sweden and England will seek to make a positive start to the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship when they meet in the first round of Group A matches – with England looking to continue their strong recent record in the fixture.
• This is the second successive tournament Sweden and England have met in the group stage, with substitute Jesse Lingard's 85th-minute goal giving Gareth Southgate's England a 1-0 win in Olomouc two years ago.
• The teams at the Ander Stadium on 21 June 2015 were:
Sweden: Carlgren, Lindelöf, Helander, Augustinsson, Lewicki, Hiljemark, Khalili (Quaison 87), Thelin, Tibbling (Larsson 78), Baffo, Guidetti (Ishak 81).
England: Butland, Jenkinson, Garbutt, Gibson, Moore, Chalobah, Carroll (Loftus-Cheek 73), Pritchard (Lingard 85), Redmond, Hughes (Ings 46), Kane.
• England also prevailed in the 2009 semi-final between the sides, coming through 5-4 on penalties after a 3-3 draw in Gothenburg. Stuart Pearce's men had led 3-0 through Martin Cranie (1), Nedum Onuoha (27) and Matthias Bjärsmyr's own goal (38) only for hosts Sweden to score three times in the last quarter of normal time, through Marcus Berg (68, 81) and Ola Toivonen (75).
• Berg and Guillermo Molins both failed in the penalty shoot-out, however, as did England's James Milner. Joe Hart, Lee Cattermole, Adam Johnson, Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs all scored for England, with Rasmus Elm, Bjärsmyr, Mikael Lustig and Rasmus Bengtsson successful for Sweden.
• The line-ups at the Gamla Ullevi on 26 June 2009 were:
England: Hart, Cranie, Onuoha, Richards, Gibbs, Cattermole, Noble (Rodwell 70), Milner, Muamba (Johnson 116), Agbonlahor (Campbell 60), Walcott.
Sweden: Dahlin, Lustig, Bjärsmyr, Bengtsson, Johansson (Söder 75), Landgren (Molins 46), Svensson, Olsson (Harbuzi 46), Elm, Toivonen, Berg.
• The teams' previous four meetings all came in qualifying, with England winning twice in the 2000 preliminaries en route to the finals. Jamie Carragher and Frank Lampard struck in a 2-0 victory in Sundsvall in September 1998, before Carl Cort scored twice and Richard Cresswell once in a 3-0 home win in Huddersfield the following June.
• Sweden had the better of their encounters in qualifying for the 1990 finals, Klas Ingesson's 67th-minute effort cancelling out David White's 29th-minute opener in Coventry on 18 October 1988. Sweden's Hans Eklund got the only goal in Uppsala.
• Reigning champions Sweden claimed their first U21 title in the Czech Republic two years ago. A squad including Victor Lindelöf, Ludwig Augustinsson, Oscar Lewicki, Oscar Hiljemark, John Guidetti and Isaac Kiese Thelin came second behind Portugal in Group B to set up a semi-final with neighbours Denmark, won 4-1 by Håkan Ericson's side. Portugal were then beaten 4-3 on penalties in the Prague final after a goalless draw.
• This is Sweden's eighth appearance in the final tournament, including their quarter-final losses in 1986 and 1998. Semi-finalists in 1990 and on home soil in 2009, Sweden were runners-up in 1992 and fourth in 2004, finally lifting the trophy two years ago. Therefore, in their four appearances since the tournament expanded to an eight-team finals in 1998, the Swedes have got to the knockout phase every time.
• In qualifying for this event, Sweden finished a point above Spain at the top of Group 6, winning seven games and drawing the other three – making them one of six teams to qualify unbeaten.
• England are in the finals for a sixth successive edition, although in each of the past three tournaments, they failed to survive the group stage. Champions in 1982 and 1984, they progressed to the final under Stuart Pearce in 2009 – losing to Germany – and they have been semi-finalists on a further five occasions, most recently 2007.
• This time, England registered six victories and two draws to end up four points clear at the top of Group 9 – another of the six countries to qualify unbeaten. They won all four home matches with a goal difference of 17-2, but managed just three goals in their four away fixtures (despite winning two and drawing the others). Their record of three goals against was the joint lowest in qualifying, along with Denmark and Italy.
Coach and player links
• Muamer Tankovic was at Fulham between 2011 and 2014. His team-mates at Craven Cottage included Cauley Woodrow.
• Joel Asoro signed for Sunderland in 2015, playing alongside Jordan Pickford.
• Sweden's Kristoffer Olsson was at Arsenal between 2011 and 2014, while Tim Erlandsson joined Nottingham Forest in 2015, spending 2017 on loan in his native Sweden with Eskilstuna.
• Gustav Engvall moved to Bristol City in summer 2016.
• Jacob Larsson was in the Sweden team beaten 3-0 by England in European U17 Championship qualifying in October 2010. Simon Tibbling was an unused substitute; Pickford kept goal for England.
Håkan Ericson, Sweden
Ericson's father Georg led Sweden to the 1974 and 1978 FIFA World Cups; his son's playing career was cut short by injury at the age of 22. Ericson Jr accepted his first coaching assignment two years after being forced to hang up his boots, taking charge of fourth-division FC Kick in his home town Norrkoping. Steady progress over the years led to his appointment by IFK Norrköping – one of his father's old clubs – in 2002.
After several years working as a coaching instructor with the Swedish Football Association (SvFF), he joined Tommy Söderberg at the helm of the Under-21s, taking sole command in 2013. He led the team to U21 EURO glory in 2015, Sweden's first-ever men's continental title.
Aidy Bothroyd, England
A lower-league defender whose longest spell came with Mansfield Town, Boothroyd went into coaching in 1998 with the junior teams at Peterborough. Stints in the youth ranks of Norwich City and West Bromwich Albion followed before he stepped up to become first-team coach at Leeds United in 2004.
Boothroyd's first managerial appointment arrived 12 months later, when he took the Watford reins aged 34. He guided the Hornets into the Premier League in his first full season, 2005/06, but left in 2008 with the club back in the Championship. Shorter stays with Colchester United, Coventry City and, from 2011–13, Northampton Town then ensued. Opportunity knocked with England's youth set-up in February 2014, and he eventually became U21 coach in October 2016 following Gareth Southgate's promotion to the senior job.