Sweden came into Group D with high hopes, considering their seemingly average competition. They started the tournament against a Ukraine team that had home field advantage, but inferior talent. Their second game was against England before Wayne Rooney returned from suspension. If they could take four points from their first two games, they might not even need a win against France on the last day to go through.
They lost both of those games, and they've already been eliminated from the tournament. They didn't look like they had a lot of fight against Ukraine, and their only form of attack to speak of in their match against England was Olaf Mellberg headers on set pieces. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was pegged for a dominant tournament, has gone missing for long periods of games. His teammates deserve just as much blame as he has -- all of the forwards around him have been basically useless -- but he's still going to get the brunt of the criticism because he is Zlatan.
Because Sweden are out and because Ibrahimovic is known for being quite moody, this is a tough game to analyze. No one knows exactly what kind of team Sweden are going to put on the pitch and how much effort they're going to put in. Erik Hamren might take the opportunity to get a look at some new players, or he might think he needs to win the match to save face, and his job.
No matter what kind of team Sweden fields, they're going to have a tough time with France. Bringing in Jeremy Menez and Gael Clichy for Florent Malouda and Patrice Evra was a stroke of genius from Laurent Blanc, and he'll probably stick with the same front four and left back against Sweden. If he does make a change, it will probably come in the center of midfield. Yann M'Vila came on as a substitute and could be fit enough to start on Tuesday. He'll replace Alou Diarra if he does come in.
Projected Sweden Lineup (4-4-1-1): Andreas Isaakson; Martin Olsson, Jonas Olsson, Olaf Mellberg, Andreas Granqvist; Ola Toivonen, Kim Kallstrom, Rasmus Elm, Sebastian Larsson; Zlatan Ibrahimovic; Johan Elmander
Monty the Psychic Metal Disk says: What is a Sweden? 3-0 France.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, June 19th, 2:45 p.m. ET, 8:45 p.m. local
Venue: Olympic Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine
TV: ESPN2 (U.S. - English), ESPN Deportes (U.S. - Spanish), ITV 4 (U.K.), TSN 2 (Canada)
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