Portugal v Sweden background
Monday, June 22, 2015
Portugal and Sweden conclude Group B in Uherske Hradiste with a semi-final place on the line 11 years on from their last competitive meetings at the 2004 finals.
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Portugal and Sweden conclude UEFA European Under-21 Championship Group B in Uherske Hradiste 11 years on from their last competitive meeting, with semi-final qualification on the line.
• Portugal lead the group after following up their opening 1-0 victory over England with a 0-0 draw against Italy.
• Sweden defeated Italy 2-1 in their opener but fell to a late England goal last time out.
• The four semi-finalists in the Czech Republic will qualify for next summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Should England reach the last four, the two third-placed teams will contest a play-off on 28 June to take their place.
• Portugal will be through with a win or a draw. They would also progress if they lose and England drew with Italy. If Portugal lose and Italy beat England, goal difference would decide which of the two – Portugal or Italy – advance as the teams drew their direct encounter. If Portugal lose and England win then they are out but would be in an Olympic play-off.
• Sweden will progress with a victory, while a draw would be enough only if Italy beat England in the other game. If they lose and England win then they would be in an Olympic play-off.
• A more detailed breakdown of the permutations can be found here.
• Portugal have a clean bill of health as Ivan Cavaleiro is available again having been rested against Italy to give him time to overcome an injury to his right leg sustained in the defeat of England.
• Joao Mario Eduardo, Gonçalo Paciência and Bernardo Silva have been booked in the competition so far and are a card away from a suspension.
• The Portugal squad relaxed on the morning after the Italy stalemate at their base in Otrokovice before Gonçalo Paciência featured at a press conference. "We've watched Sweden's games and they have very strong and fast players – we’re ready to take them on," said the Porto striker.
• The Portuguese players' love for the game was perfectly illustrated at Monday's training session. While those that started the match against Italy enjoyed a light session to aid their recovery, their colleagues engaged in a highly competitive game of 'foot-volley'. Though the weather took a turn for the worse in the shape of heavy rain towards the end of training, those involved were undeterred – having a ball at their feet really is what these guys love the most.
• Kola Ilori, who is the Czech Republic to watch his son play, told a Portuguese radio station that Liverpool have given assurances that Tiago Ilori will feature in the Reds' pre-season squad.
• The Sweden team had a free afternoon on Monday after a morning training session for the players not involved against England. Those who did play had a session in the gym.
• Sweden coach Håkan Ericson admitted after facing England that "we had a lot of discussion about whether to use the same players or not" given his team had played for 62 minutes against Italy with ten men. He explained that he spoke to several players about their readiness to face England and that he trusted his players to decide on their ability to cope with fatigue.
• Defender Alexander Milosević is available after serving a one-match ban following his red card against Italy. Five other players have been booked in the competition so far and would miss the semi-final, if Sweden advanced, if they collected a second yellow against Italy. The five are Joseph Baffo, John Guidetti, Filip Helander, Oscar Hiljemark and Abdullah Khalili.
• Striker Isaac Kiese Thelin played all 90 minutes against England despite an ongoing problem with his heel and there were no fresh injuries reported by Ericson after the match in Olomouc.
• After playing a containing game against England, Sweden will have to adopt a different strategy against Portugal in a match they must win. "Against Portugal we will have a different game plan," said Ericson.
• These teams opened their 2004 Group B campaigns against each other, Sweden winning 3-1 in Mannheim.
• Hugo Almeida gave Portugal a 28th-minute lead but Johan Elmander struck twice either side of half-time. Substitute Stefan Ishizaki confirmed Sweden's victory with 19 minutes left.
• The teams at the Carl-Benz-Stadion on 28 May 2004 were:
Sweden: Alvbåge; Antonsson, Dorsin, Stenman, Holmén, Elmander (Rosenberg 78), Jönsson (Johansson 72), Stefanidis, Andersson, Gerbrand, Djurić (Ishizaki 46).
Portugal: Moreira, Sérgio, Meireles, Alves, Costa, Bosingwa, Viana (Custódio 55), Almeida, Martins (Danny 56), Ribeiro, Lourenço (Carlitos 63).
• Both sides made it through the group only to lose semi-finals, which meant they had to play off for third place and a berth in that summer's Olympic tournament. This time Portugal turned the tables, winning a thriller 3-2 after extra time in Oberhausen.
• The teams at the Niederrheinstadion on 8 June 2004 were:
Portugal: Moreira, Meireles, Alves, Costa, Martins (Viana 61), Ribeiro, Garcia, Custódio, Danny, Lourenço (Oliveira 91).
Sweden: Wiland; Antonsson, Dorsin, Nilsson, Stenman, Ishizaki, Elmander, Jönsson, Stefanidis (Hysén 72), Andersson (Rosenberg 89), Djurić.
• Elmander scored his fourth goal of the finals just before half-time but Hugo Viana equalised from the spot with 14 minutes to go and Jorge Ribeiro seemed to have won it for Portugal only for Markus Rosenberg to strike just after his late introduction.
• Carlitos got the winner in the 114th minute after superb work from Danny. Portugal, despite bringing in Cristiano Ronaldo, fell in the group stage at the Athens Olympics.
• The teams' previous competitive meetings had come in qualifying. In 1988 qualifying Sweden won 4-2 at home and Portugal prevailed 2-0 in the return.
• In 1986 qualifying it was 1-1 in Stockholm and 1-0 to Sweden in Lisbon. Sweden topped the group but lost to Italy in a two-legged quarter-final.
• Portugal's best performance was reaching the 1994 final. They finished third in 2004 and went out in the group stages of 2002, 2006 and 2007, their most recent qualification.
• Sweden's best run was to the 1992 final. They also reached the semis in 1990, 2004 and 2009 (as hosts) but did not qualify in 2011 and 2013.
• Sweden have got through both previous group stages they have competed in, in 2004 and 2009.
Portugal: Rui Jorge
Jorge succeeded Oceano Cruz in November 2010. The one-time FC Porto, Rio Ave, Sporting and Belenenses left-back made 45 appearances for his country, including one at UEFA EURO 2004 on home soil and three at the FIFA World Cup two years earlier.
Sweden: Håkan Ericson
The son of Georg Ericson, Sweden coach from 1970–79, Håkan Ericson took charge of the U21s in November 2010. Formerly at the helm of Norrköping, he moved into the dugout in 1983 after a knee injury cut short his career when he was 21.
Last five games (most recent first): DWLDL
Qualifying top scorer: Ricardo (5)
Last five games (most recent first): LWDWW
Qualifying top scorer: John Guidetti, Isaac Kiese Thelin (4)