Sweden and Belgium will begin their respective 2024 European Championship qualification campaigns with a Group F encounter in Solna on Friday night.
The home nation will enter the match off the back of four straight friendly victories, while this will represent Belgium’s first match since being eliminated in the group stage of the 2022 World Cup.
Sweden were not present at the finals of the 2022 World Cup, but they were in action at Euro 2020, reaching the last-16 stage of the competition before being beaten by Ukraine.
The Blue and Yellows have never won a European Championship, but they reached the semi-finals of the 1992 competition and were also present in the quarter-finals back in 2004.
Janne Andersson’s side will enter this match off the back of four friendly wins over Mexico, Algeria, Finland and Iceland, with their victories over Finland and Iceland coming in January.
Sweden are in Group F alongside Belgium, Austria, Azerbaijan and Estonia, and they will be expecting to claim a top-two position in the section, but the same can also be said for Belgium.
Andersson’s team, who will take on Azerbaijan in their second match in the group on March 27, have not been in competitive action since drawing 1-1 with Slovenia in the UEFA Nations League last September.
Belgium, meanwhile, suffered huge disappointment at the 2022 World Cup, failing to progress through the group stage of the competition despite picking up four points from their three matches.
The Red Devils have reached the quarter-finals of each of the last two European Championship finals, while their best performance in the competition was back in 1980, finishing as the runners-up.
Belgium are entering a new era, with Domenico Tedesco now in charge of the national team, with the 37-year-old being appointed head coach at the start of February.
Tedesco, who was previously RB Leipzig head coach between December 2021 and September 2022, will be desperate to unlock what is a very talented squad, and there are still plenty of familiar faces in the squad despite the exit of Roberto Martinez.
The Red Devils will only play one Euro 2024 qualifier during this international break, with their next match on March 28 a friendly against Germany, before returning to competitive action in the middle of June.
Sweden form (all competitions):
Belgium form (all competitions):
We say: Sweden 1-1 Belgium
Belgium have won their last three games against Sweden, with the home side not beating their opponents here since 1961. This has all of the makings of a very interesting game, but we are struggling to separate the two teams, ultimately settling on a low-scoring draw.