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Preview: Italy v Sweden

Published: Friday 17 June 2016, 9.00CET
A second win for Italy would send them through but Antonio Conte says the Azzurri are not getting carried away by their opening display while Sweden know they face a hard match.
by Paul Saffer & Ben Gladwell in Toulouse
Preview: Italy v Sweden
Zlatan Ibrahimović emerges for training in Toulouse on Thursday ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

ItalySweden

Goals scored6
 
1
Possession (%)45
 
55
Total attempts47
 
23
on target19
 
3
off target15
 
12
blocked13
 
8
against woodwork2
 
0
Corners27
 
13
Offsides3
 
8
Yellow cards18
 
4
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed81
 
39
Fouls suffered70
 
38

Press kits

  • Match press kit (local language)
SSI Err
Published: Friday 17 June 2016, 9.00CET

Preview: Italy v Sweden

A second win for Italy would send them through but Antonio Conte says the Azzurri are not getting carried away by their opening display while Sweden know they face a hard match.

  • Italy will be through if they win their third meeting with Sweden at a EURO finals
  • The Azzurri top Group E after beating Belgium 2-0; Sweden drew 1-1 with Ireland
  • The Blågult helped eliminate Italy in 2004 when Zlatan Ibrahimović struck in a 1-1 draw
  • The Azzurri won 2-1 in their group stage contest at UEFA EURO 2000
  • Also in Group E: Belgium v Republic of Ireland (15.00CET Saturday, Bordeaux)

Possible line-ups
Italy:
Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Candreva, Florenzi, De Rossi, Giaccherini, De Sciglio; Pellè, Éder.
Yellow card away from suspension: Bonucci, Chiellini, Éder, Thiago Motta

Sweden: Isaksson; Lindelöf, Granqvist, Johansson, Olsson; Larsson, Ekdal, Källström, Forsberg; Guidetti, Ibrahimović.
Out: Lustig (groin)
Yellow card away from suspension: Lindelöf

Coach quotes
Antonio Conte, Italy
I think I have a group of lads who are very focused and determined, and who take pride in doing things well. I'm certain that one single game will not change the attitude of these lads. I'm convinced of this.

It was a good performance against Belgium and we made the best start to UEFA EURO 2016, but we've not done anything yet, nor have we already qualified for the last 16, which is our first objective. We have our feet firmly on the ground, preparing for tomorrow's game and looking for the win.

Bonucci: Victory was built on typical Italian qualities

We're seeing some really, really tight games to be honest and you can see that every game is very, very difficult – look at France yesterday, they only went ahead against Albania in the 90th minute and added a second in the 96th.

The games are going down to the wire and we've got to be very well prepared. We just have to concentrate on what we are doing, what we have to do, who we have to face and their strengths and weaknesses. We've got to give the best we can to reach our first objective, which is the last 16.

We've got to attack them as a team. In defence the problem is not only Ibrahimović, it could also be Forsberg or Guidetti; it could be their set pieces or various things we have to analyse. When we analyse our opponents, we look at them first as a team then break them down into individuals and try to highlight their deficiencies.

Erik Hamrén, Sweden
Italy perhaps don't have the big stars they used to, but they are still very strong. They are very good in defence and in attack and they were impressive against Belgium. They are going to be a tough challenge for us, but we're looking forward to it. Anything is possible in football.

Behind the scenes in the Sweden dressing room

We have to get more right than we get wrong, for sure. It's wrong to focus on what you shouldn't do, you need to focus on what you can do as a team.

We need to be very effective. We probably won't get many chances so we have to take what we get. We expect Italy to have more of the possession. We are going to have to run a lot, but we need to use our heads too.

I doubt Mikael Lustig will play again in the group stage. If we go through, then maybe he will play again, but that is the way things stand right now.

We've managed setbacks before, but now we must just continue and focus on the next game. Since Tuesday we've just focused on Italy. The morale was a bit down on Tuesday evening, but we were fully focused from Wednesday.

UEFA.com team reporters
Ben Gladwell, Italy (@UEFAcomBenG)
In spite of their impressive start, caution remains the buzzword in the Italy camp. "We're not through yet, so it seems wrong to make calculations because of our experience at the last World Cup, where we won our first game and then lost two and went out," warned winger Antonio Candreva. Victory would seal their passage to the last 16, while defeat would throw the group wide open – and it is with this in mind that the Azzurri are preparing to face Sweden with as much focus and attention as they had for their opener.

Sujay Dutt, Sweden (@UEFAcomSujayD)
A 1–1 draw with the Republic of Ireland makes progressing from the group stage difficult but not impossible for Sweden. Monday's showing was lacklustre though on the flip side Sweden ended the match better than they started it. One explanation was the contribution of substitute John Guidetti. He is now likely to start against Italy, along with Albin Ekdal who can offer more dynamism in midfield.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Italy: WWWLDDLWWW
Sweden: DWDDLDWWWL

Did you know?
Hamrén's first game as Sweden coach was against Italy in Cesena in November 2009, when defender Giorgio Chiellini scored the only goal in a friendly victory for the Azzurri. That was the teams' last meeting. Find out more in our extensive match background.

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Last updated: 17/06/16 14.05CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2016/matches/round=2000448/match=2017956/prematch/preview/index.html#italy+sweden+preview