Sweden and France haven’t drawn a game since 2005 and I reckon it would be folly to think they’ll be doing so here, as the Swedes generally have an upset per campaign in their locker.
Will it be here? Hardly. Such is the strength in depth the world champions possess, a tough night at the office for the home side could be in store for the home side.
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As you well know, I fancy these French boys to win the next World Cup and all. So, it would be remiss of me to suggest they’d go to Sweden and not coast to victory.
Didier Deschamps has very cleverly two uncapped, yet full-of-promise-at-this-level-type players in his squad, when he would normally go experience above all.
I believe the reason for this is to keep the senior pros on their toes – and this lot absolutely need the odd kick. I don’t need to tell you about the quality of Dayot Upamecano, but 17-year-old Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga could go on to become one of the best midfielders on the planet by the time he’s 20.
For this alone, I suspect Moussa Sissoko to have a stormer and feed Antoine Griezmann and co at every opportunity. This should lead to the French being ahead at the half-time whistle.
Away from home – you score early. You know what happens from here, don’t you?
The French maintain possession well until they get bored, where a midfielder occasionally loses the ball, only for the Swedes to counter.
From there, they have a series of corners that come to nothing. Around the 70th minute, Janne Andersson calls upon John Guidetti and – wait for it – the French go up the other end and score again.
Simple as that really, and head back to Paris with a two-goal win in your back pocket.
For all the clearly refined talent around the big man, France still operate off him and there are very few players in the world with a complete skillset like Olivier Giroud.
If that sounds like heavy praise, that’s because it is. But, he benefits from centre-halves having to maintain shape because both wingers come inside to link-up.
He often turns on a dime and fires an effort to get them rolling and I’d expect the same here. Not to mention he’s basically odds-on for any header he contests.
Expect him to test the Swedish keeper early and often.
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