Santiago Bernabeu - Euro 2020 Qualifying
Luis Enrique’s rebuilding job with Spain continues at the Bernabeu on Monday night, with Sweden La Loja’s opponents in Madrid. Spain have won their first three qualifying games so far, while the Swedes have won two out of three.
These countries haven’t met in 11 years, since Spain beat Sweden 2-1 in the group stages of Euro 2020. They also played each other in qualifying for that tournament, with both teams winning their home fixture to nil.
Sergio Ramos is closing in on the Spanish record for international appearances. The Real Madrid defender’s in line to win his 165th cap, leaving him just two shy of record holder Iker Casillas. David de Gea was dropped for Kepa Arrizabalaga on Friday, with the Chelsea goalkeeper likely to retain his place here.
Former Sunderland and Birmingham City midfielder Sebastian Larsson could return to Sweden’s starting line-up, with Kristoffer Olsson also bidding for a spot in central midfield alongside captain Albin Ekdal. Robin Quaison is set to partner Marcus Berg up front, with John Guidetti and Alexander Isak likely to start on the bench.
Spain v Sweden Preview and Predictions
Both of these teams were in action on Friday, with Spain swatting the Faroe Islands aside, and Sweden easing to a comfortable victory over Malta. These are the countries expected to finish in the top two places in this group, with Spain clear favourites to pick up the win here.
La Roja have bounced back from losing their last two Nations League fixtures to win four games in a row. They were expected to win all of those matches, and they have the quality to break down what’s likely to be a dogged Swedish defence here.
The home side start as the 1/4 favourites in the betting, as they bid to maintain their 100% start to this qualifying campaign. Enrique’s side slumped to a 3-2 defeat at home to England in the Nations League last October, but that came on the back of a resounding 6-0 victory over Croatia.
Sweden meanwhile topped their Nations League group, which was in the second tier of countries. They’re promoted to the top level for the next iteration of the tournament, and are ranked 14th in the world. At 14/1, an away win would be a huge shock though, while even a draw would be an upset at 5/1.
Spain to win to nil at 5/6
La Roja are strong favourites to pick up the win, and Sweden will have few chances with the home team expected to control possession.
Sergio Ramos to score at 10/3
The Spanish captain has scored six goals in his last seven international fixtures, and has assumed the penalty taking responsibilities for his country.