Ireland seek competitive first against Sweden
Friday, January 1, 2016
The Republic of Ireland are on a mission to secure their first competitive victory against Sweden as the sides come together in their opening Group E match.
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The Republic of Ireland are still awaiting a first competitive victory against Sweden as the sides meet in their opening UEFA EURO 2016 Group E game.
• Ireland's record in ten matches against Sweden is W3 D2 L5 (W0 D2 L4 in competitive fixtures).
• The teams were in the same qualifying group for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Sweden came from behind to win 2-1 in Dublin, with goals from Johan Elmander and Anders Svensson, after drawing 0-0 in Solna, yet neither country made it to Brazil.
• Those were their first competitive encounters for 43 years. Sweden also had the better of their EURO '72 qualifiers, drawing 1-1 away and prevailing 1-0 in Solna thanks to a goal from Tom Turesson.
EURO facts – Republic of Ireland
• The Irish are competing at their third EURO finals but have yet to make it through the group stage. They lost all three of their games at UEFA EURO 2012.
• Ireland's biggest achievement came at the 1990 World Cup, where they reached the quarter-finals.
• Martin O'Neill's men finished third in their qualifying group with a record of W5 D3 L2 and then defeated Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-1 on aggregate in the play-offs.
• Ireland drew 1-1 in Saint-Denis against France in the second leg of their 2010 World Cup play-off, a result that ended their hopes of reaching the South Africa finals.
EURO facts – Sweden
• Sweden are competing at their fifth successive EURO finals, and their sixth in total. They have not made it through the group stage since reaching the quarter-finals of UEFA EURO 2004.
• Sweden's greatest feat to date is reaching the final of the 1958 World Cup as hosts, losing 5-2 to Brazil. In their best EURO campaign they progressed to the last four of the 1992 edition, succumbing 3-2 to Germany.
• Sweden finished third in their qualifying group with the record W5 D3 L2. They then overcame Denmark 4-3 on aggregate in a play-off to book their place in France.
• Zlatan Ibrahimović was the second highest scorer in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying with 11 goals – including three in the play-offs.
• Sweden come to France unbeaten in four competitive games, in all of which they scored twice: 2-0, 2-0, 2-1, 2-2.
• Lars Lagerbäck's Sweden drew 1-1 with Raymond Domenech's France in their only previous fixture at the Stade de France – a friendly in February 2005.
Coach and player links
• Play together:
Robbie Brady and Wes Hoolahan (Ireland) & Martin Olsson (Sweden) – Norwich City
John O'Shea (Ireland) & Sebastian Larsson (Sweden) – Sunderland
• Have played together
James McClean and David Meyler (Ireland) & Sebastian Larsson (Sweden) – Sunderland, 2011/12
Aiden McGeady (Ireland) and Kim Källström (Sweden) – Spartak Moskva, 2012
Daryl Murphy (Ireland) and Mikael Lustig (Sweden) – Celtic, 2012
Jon Walters and Glenn Whelan (Ireland) & John Guidetti (Sweden) – Stoke City, 2014
• O'Neill managed Larsson at Sunderland.