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World Cup Group F team profile Sweden: How they qualified, star man, World Cup record, fixtures

World Cup Group F team profile: Sweden
By Eurosport

06/06/2018 at 09:50Updated 06/06/2018 at 16:02

Sweden want to make an impact at the World Cup in Russia without Zlatan Ibrahimovic - and will be hopeful of springing a surprise after beating Italy and Netherlands in qualifying.

  • Honours: World Cup runners-up 1958; European Championship semi-final 1992
  • FIFA Ranking: 23

HOW THEY QUALIFIED

Sweden were the surprise package in European qualification.

By claiming second place in their group behind France they helped eliminate Netherlands, who came third in the World Cup in Brazil four years ago.

Sweden then felled Italy in the play-offs to deprive the World Cup of the Azzurri for the first time since 1958.

THE SQUAD

STAR MAN - Emil Forsberg

Sweden without Zlatan is hard to imagine but they have a player ready to step into his considerable shadow.

Sweden's No. 10 has grown into a player of real repute with RB Leipzig and Forsberg, 26, looks ready to be Sweden's leading man in Russia.

NEXT BIG THING - Victor Lindelof

Henrik Dalsgaard of Denmark and Victor Nilsson Lindelof of Sweden

Henrik Dalsgaard of Denmark and Victor Nilsson Lindelof of SwedenGetty Images

Lindelof found the jump to Manchester United difficult to manage at times this season, starting 13 games in the Premier League.

But the 23-year-old remains a huge talent for his country and will be looking to show what he is made of in Russia.

THE COACH - Janne Andersson

Andersson has already made himself a national hero in Sweden thanks to their unlikely World Cup qualification.

He took the Sweden job after winning the title with IFK Norrkoping in 2015 and his success has been founded on a formidable defence.

It was no coincidence that Italy failed to score in 180 minutes across both legs of the World Cup play-off.

WORLD CUP HISTORY

Brazil's Garrincha shoots across the Swedish goal where Vava waits to score the first goal

Brazil's Garrincha shoots across the Swedish goal where Vava waits to score the first goalGetty Images

The golden age of Swedish football is long gone: you have to look back to 1958 for their best ever World Cup performance when they lost 5-2 to Pele's Brazil in the final.

In the 1990s, Sweden had a strong team and managed to come third at USA 94, matching their result from 1950.

REASONS FOR OPTIMISM

The end of Zlatan's international career gives a chance to the new generation to claim their place in Swedish football history.

In qualifying, some of the players who previously shrunk in his presence began to assert themselves more confidently.

Sweden have a strong defence and a formidable team spirit - and with Forsberg creating, they are capable of posing problems.

FIXTURES

  • June 18th: South Korea
  • June 23rd: Germany
  • June 27th: Mexico
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