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(Group E) Sweden 1-0 Slovakia - Friday 18th June, 2021

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I watched the 2nd half and saw plenty of chances created, so I guess the 1st half must have been less ambitious by the two sides. But I honestly don't see why this should surprise anyone. Both these teams are both quite closely matched, with Sweden probably the slightly more stronger side as a whole. Both sides knew coming into this game that a draw would not be the end of the world in terms of their chances of qualifying for the next round, yet they both obviously would have been desperate not to lose. So it's not really abnormal that these two sides were apparently more prudent with their attacking play in the 1st half. 

Isak was excellent from what I saw of him. That mazy dribble that he did where he skipped past 4 challenges and then managed to pull off a shot towards the bottom hand corner of the goal, only for it to be saved, was impressive. The kid scored 17 goals in La Liga this season, I don't know how anyone can question his finishing ability as not being good. 

Slovakia's issue is that they don't have a top striker, so they are forced to play the talented Duda in the false 9 position. Slovakia's midfield is pretty good(no surprise that Slovakia had the bulk of possession against Sweden), but they also seem to have issues in defence. 35 year old Hubocan in particular looks like a weak link in their back line. 

Sweden look strong in defence, they have good attackers in Isak, Berg and Quaison. However their midfield has issues. Olsson had a very poor game where he was constantly fouling the opposition. Larsson hardly did anything down the right flank, I think he only mustered a handful of crosses. Mind you he wasn't helped by the right-back Lustig, who seemed allergic to venturing into the Slovak half. Most of Sweden's attack's came down the left flank, where Augustinsson and Forsberg combined well. Ekdal battled hard in central midfield, but generally, Sweden lack creativity in midfield, with Forsberg being their main outlet. Claesson did quite well when he came on in midfield. I think Sweden would do well to start Claesson in place of the 36 year old Sebastian Larsson in the next match. Claesson can play down the left flank and Forsberg can move and play on the right flank. Isak though is the man that they are going to look for to score the goals. At 21, that's a lot of responsibility, but it's up to him to prove his capabilities. 

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