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Poland v Sweden background

Published: Monday 19 June 2017, 9.00CET
Poland have beaten Sweden four times and lost three as the hosts and the holders prepare to play for the 11th time in the second round of Group A games.
Poland v Sweden background
Poland beat eventual champions Sweden in 2015 qualifying ©PZPN
Published: Monday 19 June 2017, 9.00CET

Poland v Sweden background

Poland have beaten Sweden four times and lost three as the hosts and the holders prepare to play for the 11th time in the second round of Group A games.

There has been little between hosts Poland and holders Sweden in their previous UEFA European Under-21 Championship fixtures as they prepare to meet again in the second round of Group A matches.

Previous meetings
• This is the teams' 11th competitive encounter, Sweden winning three of their previous ten and Poland four, with three draws. Sweden have scored 15 goals to Poland's 14.

• All those past ten meetings came in qualifying, most recently for the 2015 tournament. Each side won their home game: Sweden prevailed 3-1 in Malmo, recovering from an early Alexander Milošević own goal (10) through Simon Thern (15), Branimir Hrgota (21) and Mikael Ishak (56) strikes.

• The line-ups at the Malmö New Stadium on 6 September 2013 were:
Sweden: Carlgren, Johansson, Krafth, Milošević, Helander, Hallberg, Hiljemark, Lewicki, Thern (Nyman 61), Hrgota (Bärkroth 87), Ishak.
Poland: Szumski, Janicki, M Lewandowski, Kamiński, Pazio, Wolski (Chrapek 73), Żyro, Golla (Steblecki 85), Linetty, Pawłowski, Przybyłko (Stępiński 64).

• The following month, Poland were 2-0 victors in Krakow thanks to first-half efforts from Dominik Furman (33) and Michał Żyro (42).

• The teams at the Krakow Stadium on 12 October 2013 were:
Poland: Szumski, Janicki, Dziwniel, Golla, Kamiński, Chrapek (Dąbrowski 76), Furman, Milik (Parzyszek 88), Żyro (Steblecki 83), Linetty, Pawłowski.
Sweden:  Carlgren, Krafth, Milošević, Helander, Silverholt, Hallberg (Quaison 63), Hiljemark, Lewicki, Thern (Kroon 73), Hrgota, Ishak.

• The two countries played out a goalless friendly draw in Kielce on 8 September 2015.

Match background

• Poland qualified automatically as hosts.

• Poland are competing in the finals for the first time since 1994. That year they reached the quarter-finals, equalling their best-ever performance in the competition; they were also quarter-finalists in 1982, 1984, 1986 and 1992.

• Poland's 1994 squad included Jacek Bąk, Tomasz Hajto and Piotr Świerczewski, who all earned over 50 caps for the senior national side, while Tomasz Rząsa was a 2002 UEFA Cup winner with Feyenoord.

• Holders 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 men. 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 both 1990 and – as hosts – 2009, the Swedes were also runners-up in 1992 and finished fourth in 2004, before finally lifting the trophy two years ago. Therefore, on their four appearances since the tournament expanded to an eight-team finals in 1998, they have reached the knockout stage on every occasion.

• In qualifying for this edition, Sweden finished a point above Spain at the top of Group 6, winning seven of their games and drawing the other three – making them one of six sides to qualify unbeaten.

Coach and player links
• Sweden's Paweł Cibicki, who scored one goal in four qualifying outings, played for Poland at Under-19 and U20 levels. Born in Malmo to Polish parents, he pledged his allegiance to Sweden in August 2016.

• Marcin Dorna was Cibicki's coach at Poland U20 level.

• Jacob Larsson and substitute Simon Tibbling were in the Sweden team that drew 0-0 with Poland in a European U17 Championship qualifying round fixture in October 2010. Tomasz Kędziora played for Poland.

Coach profiles

Marcin Dorna, Poland
Started his coaching career while still a physical education student, working with children aged between nine and 11 at UKS GOSIR Dopiewo, a small club near Poznan. Moved on to the youth set-up at Lech Poznań, training teams from U10 to U15 levels over a period of six and a half years.

Joined the Polish Football Assoction (PZPN) in 2008, initially coaching the U15 to U18 sides and leading the U17s to the semi-finals of their UEFA European Championship in 2012. Took the U21 reins in January 2013.

Håkan Ericson, Sweden
Son of Georg Ericson who guided Sweden to the 1974 and 1978 FIFA World Cups, Håkan's playing days were curtailed by injury at the age of 22. Ericson Jr accepted his first coaching assignment two years later, taking charge of fourth-division FC Kick in his home town Norrkoping; steady progress eventually led to his appointment at 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 U21 helm, assuming sole command in 2013. He steered the team to UEFA European Championship glory in 2015, Sweden's first-ever men's continental title.

Last updated: 19/06/17 11.07CET