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Sweden vs Slovakia: UEFA EURO 2020 match background, facts and stats

Slovakia return to Dublin for their second Group E game to take on Sweden, a team they have never previously beaten.

Sweden and Slovakia last met in  October 2018
Sweden and Slovakia last met in October 2018 Getty Images

Slovakia return to Dublin for their second Group E game to take on Sweden, a team they have never previously beaten.

• However, while Slovakia reached the round of 16 at UEFA EURO 2016, their debut in the tournament, Sweden – who have appeared in every EURO finals since 2000 – last featured in the knockout stage in 2004.

Previous meetings

• Sweden and Slovakia have met on five previous occasions, Sweden winning two with the other three matches – including the last two – ending in draws.

• The teams last met in a 1-1 draw at Solna's Friends Arena on 16 October 2018, Albert Rusnák striking for Slovakia six minutes from time after John Guidetti had given Sweden a 52nd-minute lead.

• That match was a first game in charge for current Slovakia coach Štefan Tarkovič, who was then serving as caretaker following Ján Kozák's departure.

• This is the sides' third competitive contest, and a first since a Marcus Allbäck double (45, 52) earned Sweden a 2-0 win in Solna in 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifying on 2 June 2001.

• Slovakia had held the Swedes to a goalless draw in Bratislava in the reverse fixture, on 11 October 2000, but were eliminated after finishing third in Group 4 on 17 points, behind section winners Sweden (26 points) and runners-up Turkey (21).

• Sweden also beat Slovakia 6-0 in an Abu Dhabi friendly on 12 January 2017, a game classed as an unofficial international. Alexander Isak and Sebastian Andersson were both on the scoresheet.

• Sweden and Czechoslovakia met in four EURO matches, all qualifiers. Holders Czechoslovakia won 3-1 in Solna and 4-1 in Prague in the preliminaries for the 1980 tournament, going on to reach the finals in Italy; in qualifying for the 1984 competition, Czechoslovakia let slip a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to Sweden in Bratislava and then went down 1-0 in Solna, both teams being eliminated after finishing behind Romania.

• Slovakia were 3-0 winners against Sweden on Matchday 3 of the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Poland with Martin Chrien, Jaroslav Mihalík and Ľubomír Šatka all on the scoresheet, but missed out on a place in the semi-finals by a single goal.

EURO facts: Sweden

• Sweden are competing at their sixth successive EURO finals, and their seventh in total. They have not made it through the group stage since reaching the quarter-finals of UEFA EURO 2004.

EURO 2004 highlights: Sweden 1-1 Italy
EURO 2004 highlights: Sweden 1-1 Italy

• Four years ago, Erik Hamrén's side finished bottom of Group E with one point from three matches. Having opened with a 1-1 draw against the Republic of Ireland, the Swedes lost 1-0 to both Italy and Belgium.

• Prior to Matchday 1, a 2-0 defeat of France on Matchday 3 of UEFA EURO 2012 was Sweden's only victory in eight EURO finals matches (D1 L6).

• Sweden's greatest feat to date is reaching, as hosts, the 1958 World Cup final, which they lost 5-2 to Brazil. In their best EURO campaign they progressed to the last four of the 1992 edition, again as hosts, succumbing 3-2 to Germany.

• Jan Andersson's team secured their place at UEFA EURO 2020 as runners-up to Spain in qualifying Group F, picking up 21 points from their ten matches (W6 D3 L1). Having lost 3-0 to Spain – who are also in Group E at the final tournament – in their fourth qualifier, a result that equalled their biggest margin of defeat in a EURO game, Sweden won four of their next six matches (D2) to finish four points clear of third-placed Norway.

Highlights: Sweden 1-1 Spain
Highlights: Sweden 1-1 Spain

• Sweden were 2-1 winners in their last game in Dublin, against the Republic of Ireland in the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign. That was their sixth fixture in Dublin, all against Ireland, and their second victory (D1 L3); it was also their only match at the Dublin Arena.

EURO facts: Slovakia

• Slovakia are making their second successive EURO appearance after their debut at UEFA EURO 2016, where a side coached by Ján Kozák finished third in Group B behind Wales and England on four points before losing 3-0 to Germany in the round of 16.

• Slovakia's record in EURO finals before this tournament was therefore W1 D1 L2 – the sole victory a 2-1 defeat of Russia on Matchday 2 in 201, Marek Hamšík scoring the decisive goal.

• Slovakia's UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying campaign began under coach Pavel Hapal, who oversaw their third-placed finish in Group E on 13 points from eight games (W4 D1 L3), behind Croatia (17 points) and Wales (14) but ahead of Hungary (12) – all three of their rivals also qualifying for the final tournament – and Azerbaijan (1).

Highlights: Northern Ireland 1-2 Slovakia (AET)
Highlights: Northern Ireland 1-2 Slovakia (AET)

• Third in their UEFA Nations League group in 2018/19 behind Ukraine and the Czech Republic, Slovakia therefore qualified for the UEFA EURO 2020 play-offs, Hapal overseeing a 4-2 win on penalties against the Republic of Ireland after their semi-final in Bratislava had finished goalless.

• Hapal left his post before the play-off final, Tarkovič overseeing a 2-1 extra-time win away to Northern Ireland in which Michal Ďuriš scored the goal that secured a place at UEFA EURO 2020.

• Before Matchday 1, Slovakia were unbeaten in three EURO matches (W2 D1); a 3-1 loss in Croatia on 16 November 2019 was their only reverse in six games (W3 D2).

• While Slovakia had never competed at a UEFA European Championship as an independent nation before 2016, as part of Czechoslovakia they figured in two four-team final tournaments and, in 1980, the first eight-team event.

• Czechoslovakia finished third in 1960 and 1980 and lifted the trophy in 1976. Eight of the 11 players who started the '76 final against West Germany – and triumphed on penalties after a 2-2 draw – hailed from Slovakia.

Highlights: Czechoslovakia stun Germans in 1976
Highlights: Czechoslovakia stun Germans in 1976

• This is Slovakia's fifth game in Dublin, where they failed to win in their first three (D2 L1). The Matchday 1 game against Poland was their first there since a 2-2 friendly draw against the Republic of Ireland on 29 March 2016 in which Miroslav Stoch opened the scoring. Their other two matches in the city prior to UEFA EURO 20202 both came in EURO qualifying against Ireland, a 1-0 loss at Croke Park in March 2007 and a 0-0 draw in September 2011 at this stadium.

• Slovakia had therefore drawn both their previous fixtures at the Dublin Arena before facing Poland.

Links and trivia

• Isak's goal in that unofficial friendly against Slovakia on 12 January 2017 made him, aged 17 years 113 days, the youngest player to score for Sweden.

• Have played together:
Emil Krafth & Martin Dúbravka (Newcastle United 2019–)
Marcus Danielson & Marek Hamšík (Dalian Professional 2020–)
Ondrej Duda & Sebastian Andersson (Köln 2020–)
Juraj Kucka & Riccardo Gagliolo (Parma 2019–)
Juraj Kucka & Dejan Kulusevski (Parma 2019/20)

• Ján Greguš (2016–18) and Denis Vavro (2017–19) were team-mates of Robin Olsen (2016–18), Ludwig Augustinsson (2016/17) and Pierre Bengtsson (2017–19) at Copenhagen.

• Norbert Gyömbér and Olsen were briefly team-mates at Roma in summer 2018.

• Róbert Mak and Guidetti were Manchester City players between 2008 and 2010, with Vladimír Weiss also at the club in 2009/10.