Sweden – Unruly talent
By David, bettingexpert.com | Edited
Quite an unstable and unpredictable team, the Swedes reflect perfectly in their leader’s image. Zlatan Ibrahimovic possesses undoubted class but a questionable character has often relegated him to the shadows of less worthy opponents, jubilant for triumphs which he feels he should be sharing in yet never really gets to for one reason or another.
Probable Tactics: 4-3-3
Players To Watch: Ibrahimovic
Current Probable Formation: Isaksson, Lustig, J. Olsson, Mellberg, M. Olsson, Larsson, Kallstrom, Wernbloom, Toivonen, Ibrahimovic, Elmander
Euro 2012 Odds Sweden
On the right are odds for the game against France.
Euro 2012 Sweden Preview
This should be an entertaining team to watch. Hamren does not really care much about fielding defensive midfielders and asks of his men to refer to key players Ibrahimovic and Kallstrom constantly as they build up their attacking play.
Current number one Isaksson, presently in the PSV Eindhoven ranks, can boast quite a curriculum. He is a reliable goalkeeper not free of the occasional blunder however. The back four utlizied by Hamren would most probably feature Lustig at right-back and his Celtic teammate Majstorovic as centre-back. Premier League experience would be coming from Mellberg, currently at Olympiakos but with a glorious past at Aston Villa, and Martin Olsson. Along with his twin brother he moved to Blackburn very recently and has been a regular at left-back.
It is not the most reliable of defences, that’s granted but they should be able to do a good job if England and France fail to cease their chances and apply pressure. Granqvist has not been particularly impressive with Genoa this year but himself and Jonas Olsson are two valid replacements at the back.
Hamren likes to shuffle his pack in midfield with some confusion arising as to the utilization of some players who are more suited for a wing role. Larsson has had a great impact at Sunderland playing on the flank but with Sweden’s 4-4-2 converted to a 4-3-3 he has had to adapt to a more central role. On the other hand, eclectic wingman Wilhelmsson has eventually found less space on the field.
Kim Kallstrom is a stronghold in Hamren’s midfield though. He is the player from whom most of the important action kicks off. A very intelligent football mind, he can also turn on his tough tackling instincts with mixed results.
The 25-year old Wernbloom, who has already been snatched by CSKA Moscow in the January transfer market, has increasingly established himself in the Swedish national team and is often a starter. Other players Hamren likes to keep in consideration are Svensson, Elm and Bajrami.
The two flanks are mostly occupied by two strikers set wide on the field and asked to run into the box in order to snatch the killer pass that usually leaves Zlatan’s feet. Elmander is a given after having revived his career at Galatasaray, playing with regularity and finding the confidence in front of goal which had eluded him at Bolton in a long and weary three-year spell. That is if he recovers in time from a rather untimely bone fracture in his foot. Seb Larsson would be in for a place out wide but he too is in recovery from an April hernia operation.
PSV Eindhoven’s 25-year old Toivonen is another player Hamren does not like to do without. He has a natural goal instinct and has slid in very well alongside Ibrahimovic and Elmander in Sweden’s attacking trident.
Central defender Majstorovic suffered an injury which ruled him out, significantly weakening Hamren’s central defence.
Sweden 2012 – Stability their problem
The skill and the quality is enough to rival that which England and France will be bringing to the table come June. Hamren’s style stretches opponents out and can be very troublesome. In fact, I expect them to be quite a nuisance for the two favourites in the group. However, their defensive frailties will come to the fore and as the games progress they may easily be the ones to grow the most impatient, paving the way for more sound and stable sides like those of Blanc and Hodgson to work their way to booking quarter-final places.
Euro 2012 Sweden Players To Watch
The man destined to be winner of multiple domestic titles yet never a conqueror of the more prestigious titles, including those that reward him on a personal level. His inability to be a true team player has often stood in his way but curiously enough he exhibits more of a team spirit when with the national team of Sweden despite being the criticized most by his home country’s media over the years.
Although the group victory over Holland in the qualification stages was orchestrated without the suspended Zlatan it is he who should carry the burden of trying to qualify the nation through a difficult group expected to be dominated by England and France.
Euro 2012 Betting Sweden
A close call perhaps, after a very good display in the tournament. That is the story line which would usually involve Ibrahimovic. Drama and a lot of regrets to digest slowly. Teammates are talented and should help give the opponents a good run but the likes of England and France are probably hungrier than the Swedes and slightly more consistent, patient and focused at what they do.
Verdict: Group Stage
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