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U21 EURO final preview: Sweden v Portugal

A new name will be inscribed on the U21 EURO trophy on Tuesday but will it be Sweden or Portugal? We hear from the camps, predict the lineups and check out the form guide.

Sweden and Portugal meet in Prague final, with both looking for first U21 EURO title
Teams drew 1-1 when they met in Group B in Uherske Hradiste last Wednesday
Sweden's Håkan Ericson: "They have shown the best attacking performances"
Rui Jorge praises his Portugal team's "passion, will to win and quality"
Sweden average tournament-low 43% possession; Portugal have most completed passes

Possible lineups
Sweden: Carlgren; Lindelöf, Milošević, Helander, Augustinsson; Tibbling, Lewicki, Hiljemark, Khalili; Guidetti, Kiese Thelin.
Doubtful: Baffo (shoulder)

Portugal: Sá; Esgaio, Paulo Oliveira, Tobias Figueiredo, Raphael; William, Sérgio Oliveira, João Mário, Bernardo Silva; Cavaleiro, Ricardo.
Doubtful: Llori (thigh)

Håkan Ericson, Sweden coach
They beat Germany 5-0 so of course they are favourites. But we also met them a week ago and drew 1-1. We know how to find space to create our chances, so hopefully we can do it again. We never make special plans for certain players. Instead we work together to try to minimise the space and to remain very compact. We have done this very well against other teams; by staying tight we hope to slow down the opposition.

They have shown the best attacking play in this tournament and I've been very impressed with a couple of their players, who have a very high level of individual skill. If you look at the rankings, they have to be favourites.

Five great U21 final goals

We've met teams who are very good at keeping possession and we sometimes have a game plan to let the opposition have the ball. However, I saw another interesting statistic: we've had the [joint] second-most attempts on target [17 to Germany's 20] and football is about creating chances. Of course I do want us to have more of the ball, though. We have our goal of an 80-85% pass completion rate and at the moment we are at 78 or 79; hopefully we can improve that tomorrow.

Rui Jorge, Portugal coach
The team are very well, they are focused and fully motivated. I believe Sweden think the same as us. They are a very strong team, and so are we. We have shown we're a strong team, but I'm sure that they think the same. To be here at this stage of the tournament you have to have a lot of quality. Both teams have shown that, so we'll see just have to see how it goes.

This is the most important match for me so far as a coach: it's a final in a very important tournament. We've never won this trophy before, so to be one of the final coaches makes me very proud. Everybody is aware of the passion, will to win and quality of my team – that's the most important thing to me, not the way they are going to be labelled in the future. I just want my players to show their quality; if we win too that'll be perfect.

It's very rewarding for me to be able to work with these players, mainly because of their spirit. More important than the individuals is the collective side of the team.

The road to the final

Tournament so far
Sweden (Group B runners-up)

Italy 1-2 Sweden (Berardi 29pen; Guidetti 56, Kiese Thelin 86pen)
Sweden 0-1 England (Lingard 85)
Portugal 1-1 Sweden (Gonçalo Paciência 82, Tibbling 89)
Denmark 1-4 Sweden (Bech 63; Guidetti 23pen, Tibbling 26, Quaison 83, Hiljemark 90+5)

Portugal (Group B winners)
England 0-1 Portugal (João Mário 57)
Italy 0-0 Portugal 
Portugal 1-1 Sweden (Gonçalo Paciência 82; Tibbling 89)
Portugal 5-0 Germany (Bernardo Silva 25, Ricardo 33, Cavaleiro 45+1, João Mário 46, Horta 71)

Form guide (most recent first)
Sweden: WDLWD
Portugal: WDDWL

Senior internationals in squad (caps)
11 players with 37 caps between them
Oscar Hiljemark (6), Isaac Kiese Thelin (5), Robin Quaison (5), Oscar Lewicki (4), Alexander Miloševic (4), Branimir Hrgota (3), Ludwig Augustinsson (2), John Guidetti (2), Simon Gustafson (2), Sebastian Holmén (2), Mikael Ishak (2)

Portugal: Eight players with 26 caps between them:
William Carvalho (13), João Mário (3), Rafa Silva (3), Raphael Guerreiro (2), Ivan Cavaleiro (2), Paulo Oliveira (1), Ricardo Horta (1), Bernardo Silva (1)

Getting to know Bernardo Silva

Players' view
John Guidetti, Sweden forward
I don't think many of us will have the chance to play in a European final again. We're going to go out there to cherish the moment and be so proud that we can represent our country in such a great game.

Bernardo Silva, Portugal playmaker
When you're a little kid you dream about playing these matches. It's a very important competition and it's a landmark for any player to win such a tournament. We are expecting support from all of Portugal.

Match fact
• Sweden have never won an official men's UEFA youth title, but how many have Portugal got? Check out the details and much more in our extensive match background.