France v Sweden U21 play-off preview

Sweden have never beaten France in a competitive U21 international although Les Bleuets have good reason to fear Scandinavian opposition in the play-offs.

Arsenal's Yaya Sanogo celebrates after scoring in the 1-1 draw against Iceland
Arsenal's Yaya Sanogo celebrates after scoring in the 1-1 draw against Iceland ©AFP/Getty Images

• Sweden have not won in six previous matches between the teams in this competition (all qualifiers), with three draws and three France victories by the odd goal. The last time they met was 1993, a 1-1 draw that featured future senior caps Henrik Larsson, Niclas Alexandersson, Zinédine Zidane and Claude Makelele.

• France and Sweden drew 1-1 in May 2008 in a Helsingborg friendly, with Mikael Lustig and Loïc Remy on the scoresheet. France had Yohan Cabaye and Mouhamadou Dabo sent off, in a game also involving Blaise Matuidi, Martin Olsson, Ola Toivonen and Marcus Berg.

• Pierre Mankowski replaced Willy Sagnol in June after the latter took over at Ligue 1 side FC Girondins de Bordeaux.

Laywin Kurzawa, Aymeric Laporte and Geoffrey Kondogbia are all in France's squad for this tie after senior coach Didier Deschamps said he did not want to call up any Under-21-eligible players, explaining: "The U21s have a very important double-header for French football against Sweden."

Play-off records (ties): France – W2 L5; Sweden – W1 L4

Qualifying campaigns
France: W7 D1 L0 F28 A7 (Group 10 winners)
Sweden: W5 D1 L2 F20 A14 (Group 7 winners)

Sweden's John Guidetti celebrates
Sweden's John Guidetti celebrates©Domenic Aquilina

• Iceland were France's main rivals in Group 10, but from the moment Paul-Georges Ntep De Madiba's late penalty earned a 4-3 victory in Reykjavik, Les Bleuets were in command. They won seven out of seven before, with qualification assured, a last-day draw with Iceland.

• Sweden's hopes looked forlorn when a 5-1 loss in Greece left them with four points from their first four outings. They made a spectacular recovery, yet were heading out until Oscar Hiljemark's 92nd-minute goal snatched a fourth successive win against Turkey and top spot at Greece's expense.

Coaches' view
Håkan Ericson, Sweden: "It's very difficult, but it's not impossible. I think we have to get a good result and defend well away, then I hope we can get a decisive goal at home. That's the plan right now. But we have to have a look at them and then draw up our game plan. We'll see the possibilities and give our all. Our confidence is high after six straight wins."

Pierre Mankowski, France: "We're going to meet Sweden, a Scandinavian country like Norway [who beat France] in the play-offs in 2012. They came top of their group, ahead of Greece, Poland and Turkey, which shows their worth. They're a solid team, it's going to be difficult. We play the first game at home, though we would have preferred to stage the return. We're going to watch their latest games to get to know them a little more."

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