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

Sweden have had the better of their meetings with Poland, who did win the only previous finals match between the teams.

Henrik Larsson heads the ball during the teams' 2004 friendly
Henrik Larsson heads the ball during the teams' 2004 friendly AFP via Getty Images

Poland will hope for a repeat of their only previous final tournament meeting with Sweden as the teams face off at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in the final round of Group E games.

• Sweden lead the way in the section with four points, having followed up their opening draw against Spain (0-0) with a 1-0 defeat of Slovakia, who are on three points. Spain are third with two points while Poland are a point further back, having responded to their 2-1 Matchday 1 reverse against Slovakia with a 1-1 draw in Spain last time out.

• Sweden are through and will top the group if they beat Poland. If Sweden lose and the other game is drawn, Sweden, Slovakia and Poland will be split for first to third place on results between the three teams. If Sweden lose they finish third.

• Poland are through with a win and could even finish first in the group if the other game ends in a draw.

Previous meetings

• This is the sides' 27th meeting, with Sweden having won 14 of the previous 26 – including the last five. The most recent of those came in a Solna friendly on 5 June 2004, the home side winning 3-1.

• Sweden had already beaten Poland home and away in qualifying for both UEFA EURO 2000 and UEFA EURO 2004, keeping clean sheets in all four fixtures – 1-0 away, 2-0 home in the 2000 preliminaries and 3-0 home, 2-0 away in the following tournament.

• Sweden are unbeaten in their last seven games against Poland (W6 D1), since a 2-0 friendly loss in Gdynia in August 1991. The Scandinavian side have scored 18 goals in that seven-match sequence, conceding only three – two of them coming in a 2-2 friendly draw in Solna in May 1997, the last time Poland avoided defeat against the Swedes.

• Poland did, however, come out on top in the sides' only previous fixture at a final tournament, a Grzegorz Lato goal securing victory at the Neckarstadion in Stuttgart in the second group stage of the 1974 FIFA World Cup.

• That is one of eight victories Poland have enjoyed against Sweden – three having come outside of Poland – but remains their only competitive success in what was the first such match between the teams. Sweden have won all of the subsequent six, keeping clean sheets in the last five; a Ryszard Tarasiewicz strike in a 2-1 away defeat on 7 May 1989 in 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifying is Poland's last competitive goal against the Swedes.

• Damian Gorawski's 89th-minute strike in Sweden's 3-1 win in Solna in 2004 ended the Scandinavian side's run of 452 minutes without conceding against Poland.

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.

Watch Sweden beat Denmark at EURO ‘92

• 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.

• The Matchday 2 defeat of Slovakia was only Sweden's second victory in their last ten EURO finals matches (D2 L6), the other a 2-0 win against France on Matchday 3 of UEFA EURO 2012.

• 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, before 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

• Before beating Slovakia on Matchday 2, Sweden's only previous game at the Saint Petersburg Stadium was a 1-0 win against Switzerland in the round of 16 at the 2018 FIFA World Cup thanks to Emil Forsberg's second-half strike; Forsberg also got the only goal, from the penalty spot, against Slovakia. Sweden's record at the 2018 tournament, where they reached the quarter-finals, was W3 L2.

• Sweden were 2-1 friendly winners against Russia at Moscow's CSKA Arena on 8 October 2020 with Alexander Isak scoring the first goal. Their record in the country overall is now W8 D3 L5.

EURO facts: Poland

• Poland are appearing at their fourth straight EURO final tournament; prior to UEFA EURO 2016 they had never won a finals match (D3 L3).

• Four years ago, however, they advanced to the last eight for the first time and bowed out without losing a game in regulation play as they were eliminated by eventual champions Portugal on penalties in the quarter-finals (1-1, 3-5 pens). With that game counted as a draw, Poland's record in France was W2 D3.

Poland national anthem: Watch Lewandowski and co at EURO 2012

• A team led by former coach Jerzy Brzęczek finished six points clear at the top of Group G to book their place at UEFA EURO 2020, winning eight of their ten qualifiers (D1 L1) including the last four.

• The Matchday 1 loss against Slovakia is one of only two defeats in Poland's last 20 EURO matches (W12 D6), the other a 2-0 defeat in Slovenia on 6 September 2019.

• Poland's greatest achievements on the international stage were taking bronze at the 1974 and 1982 World Cups.

• This is Poland's second game in Saint Petersburg, where they lost to Slovakia on Matchday 1. Their record in Russia overall is now W1 D1 L10.

• At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Poland finished bottom of Group H with three points. They lost to Senegal in Moscow (1-2) and Colombia in Kazan (0-3) before closing with a 1-0 defeat of Japan in Volgograd thanks to Jan Bednarek's first – and as yet only – international goal; that was also their last game in Russia before UEFA EURO 2020 and their only victory in the country.

Highlights: Rep. Ireland 1-1 Poland

Links and trivia

• Have played together:
Pontus Jansson & Mateusz Klich (Leeds 2017–19)
Pontus Jansson & Kamil Glik (Torino 2014–16)
Albin Ekdal & Bartosz Bereszyński (Sampdoria 2018–)
Dejan Kulusevski & Wojciech Szczęsny (Juventus 2020–)

• Robin Quaison scored the winner as Mainz beat Bayern München 2-1 at home in the 2020/21 Bundesliga on 24 April, Robert Lewandowski getting Bayern's consolation goal.

Latest news

Star of the Match: Isak highlights


• The 1-0 win against Slovakia on Matchday 2 extended Sweden's unbeaten run in 2021 to seven matches, the only draw in that sequence having come in their opening UEFA EURO 2020 fixture against Spain.

• That 0-0 draw against Spain in Seville was Sweden's first EURO finals stalemate since the quarter-final of UEFA EURO 2004, when they lost on penalties to the Netherlands. It was also their first draw in 18 matches since they held Spain 1-1 at home in a UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier on 15 October 2019.

• Sweden were dealt a considerable blow in their countdown to this tournament when record scorer Zlatan Ibrahimović, who had returned to the national team in March for the first time since UEFA EURO 2016, was ruled out through injury.

• Nevertheless, Jan Andersson's side made it five wins in a row by defeating both Finland (2-0) and Armenia (3-1) in their two pre-tournament friendlies in Solna. Robin Quaison and Sebastian Larsson (penalty) were on target in the first game, with Emil Forsberg, Marcus Danielson and Marcus Berg finding the net in the second.

Star of the Match: Isak reaction

• Larsson's goal was his tenth for Sweden and in Ibrahimović's absence he is the only player in the UEFA EURO 2020 squad to have scored at a previous EURO final tournament, his one goal having sealed a 2-0 win over France at UEFA EURO 2012. That was the last goal scored by any Swedish player at the EURO finals until Forsberg's winning penalty against Slovakia, their one goal in 2016, on Matchday 1 against the Republic of Ireland, having been an own goal.

• Larsson is one of ten players in the UEFA EURO 2016 squad who have been retained for this tournament, the others being Forsberg, Berg, Andreas Granqvist, Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelöf, Albin Ekdal, Robin Olsen, Ludwig Augustinsson and Pontus Jansson, though the last three did not make it on to the field of play in France.

• Granqvist, who has not played for Sweden since November 2019, has been restored to the squad as captain. He and Lustig were participants alongside Larsson at UEFA EURO 2012.

• Granqvist scored two penalties in Sweden's run to the quarter-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Augustinsson and Forsberg also found the net in Russia with their first tournament goals.

Skill of the Day: Alexander Isak (Sweden)

• Filip Helander of Scottish champions Rangers is the only 2020/21 league title winner in Sweden's squad, while Dejan Kulusevski is the sole domestic cup winner from the past season, having helped Juventus to their Coppa Italia success with the opening goal in the final against Atalanta (2-1). Neither has yet made an appearance at the tournament.

• Alexander Isak was also a winner of the delayed 2019/20 Copa del Rey final with Real Sociedad as they defeated Basque rivals Athletic Club 1-0 on 3 April 2021 in Seville. Isak was the sixth highest scorer in the 2020/21 Liga, scoring 17 goals for La Real.

• Jordan Larsson, son of Sweden legend Henrik, was the third top scorer in the 2020/21 Russian Premier League with 15 goals for runners-up Spartak Moskva. Only Artem Dzyuba (20) and Sardar Azmoun (19) of champions Zenit scored more.

• Seven members of Sweden's squad played in the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League – Lindelöf for Manchester United, Kulusevski for Juve, Forsberg for Leipzig, Jens Cajuste for Midtjylland, and Berg, Kristoffer Olsson and Viktor Claesson for Krasnodar.

Lewandowski on Poland point against Spain


• Captain Robert Lewandowski became the first Poland player to score in three UEFA European Championships with his equaliser in the 1-1 draw against Spain, having managed one goal in each of the last two tournaments – against Greece in the 2012 opening match and eventual winners Portugal in the 2016 quarter-final. It was his 67th goal in 121 international appearances – both national records.

• Poland's opening 2-1 defeat by Slovakia and that draw against Spain mean they are now on a run of five games without a win, with just one victory recorded in their last nine matches – 3-0 at home to Andorra in a March World Cup qualifier. They drew both of their pre-UEFA EURO 2020 friendlies, in Wrocław against Russia (1-1) and in Poznań against Iceland (2-2).

• Jakub Świerczok scored his first international goal in the draw against Russia, with Piotr Zieliński and Karol Świderski finding the net against Iceland, the latter with an 88th-minute equaliser. Tymoteusz Puchacz made his international debut in the first game and set up Zieliński's goal in the second.

• Karol Linetty's equalising goal against Slovakia on Matchday 1 was only his third for Poland in 33 appearances and his second in a competitive international after finding the net in a 3-0 UEFA Nations League win in Warsaw against Bosnia and Herzegovina last October. Apart from Lewandowski, he is the only player in Poland's squad to have scored at the EURO finals.

• Lewandowski is one of three players competing for Poland at a third successive EURO final tournament, together with Wojciech Szczęsny and Maciej Rybus, while Łukasz Fabiański, who played in 2016 but missed out in 2012, was a non-playing squad member back in 2008. The other survivors from 2016 are Linetty, Zieliński, Grzegorz Krychowiak and Kamil Glik.

• Arkadiusz Milik, another veteran of UEFA EURO 2016, was originally selected to wear the No7 shirt at this tournament but was withdrawn through injury and not replaced, leaving Poland with 25 players.

• Lewandowski scored a Bundesliga record tally of 41 goals to help Bayern München become German champions for the ninth successive year in 2020/21. The only other title winner from the season just ended in Poland's squad was Tomasz Kędziora, who captured the double in Ukraine with Dynamo Kyiv, while domestic cups were won in Russia by Krychowiak and Rybus of Lokomotiv Moskva and in Greece by Świderski of PAOK.

• Following his red card against Slovakia, the first shown at UEFA EURO 2020, Krychowiak was suspended against Spain but is once again eligible for selection against Sweden, a game in which he and Glik are both set to make their tenth major tournament appearance.

• Kacper Kozłowski became, at the age of 17 years and 246 days, the youngest ever participant at a EURO final tournament when he came off the bench in Poland's Matchday 2 encounter against Spain, beating the previous record of England's Jude Bellingham (17 years and 349 days) that had been set just six days earlier.