Sweden will be looking to move to the top of Group B when they continue their World Cup 2022 qualification campaign at home to Greece on Tuesday night.
Janne Andersson’s side are currently second in the section, one point behind leaders Spain, while Greece occupy third, three points behind Sweden heading into this key encounter.
Sweden suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat in Greece last month but returned to winning ways in impressive fashion on Saturday night, as goals from Emil Forsberg, Alexander Isak and Robin Quaison saw them record a 3-0 victory over Kosovo in Solna.
Andersson’s side have won four and lost one of their five games in the section to collect 12 points, which has left them one point behind Spain, who have played one match more.
As a result, Sweden would move to the top of Group B with a win on Tuesday, and a positive result against Greece would lead them nicely into next month’s final two games against Georgia and Spain.
The Blue and Yellows – runners-up at the 1958 World Cup – reached the quarter-finals of the 2018 edition of the tournament, while they made the round of 16 at this summer’s European Championship, so it would be a surprise if they were not present at next year’s competition.
Sweden have only won one of their previous seven games against Greece in all competitions, though, and as mentioned, suffered a 2-1 defeat in the reverse match in the section.
Greece, meanwhile, will enter Tuesday’s match off the back of a 2-0 victory over Georgia, with Anastasios Bakasetas and Dimitris Pelkas netting in second-half stoppage time.
John van ‘t Schip’s side have now won their last two Group B fixtures to move onto nine points, and a victory on Tuesday would give them a serious chance of finishing either first or second in the group.
Greece did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup but were present in the 2010 and 2014 editions of the tournament and made it to the round of 16 seven years ago.
The Sky Blues and Whites, who have home games against Spain and Kosovo to come next month, did not qualify for Euro 2016, though, so it has been seven years since they last competed in a major tournament.
Greece’s only previous defeat to Sweden came in the group stages of Euro 2008, when Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Petter Hansson scored in a two-goal loss.
Sweden World Cup Qualifying – Europe form:
Sweden form (all competitions):
Greece World Cup Qualifying – Europe form:
Greece form (all competitions):
We say: Sweden 2-1 Greece
This is set to be a fascinating battle, and Spain will be watching closely to see what occurs. Sweden were excellent against Kosovo last time out, but Greece have now won their last two in the section; we are expecting a tight game on Tuesday but have just sided with a narrow home success.