Slovakia head into their second Group E match on Friday at the top of the group standings. The Slovakians claimed a 2-1 win over Poland to kick off the competition and were good for the victory. Sweden also picked up a great result to start the Euro 2020 tournament. The Swedes claimed a nil-nil draw versus Spain despite keeping a mere 14% possession. Sweden had the two best goalscoring opportunities to win the match, but were unable to convert those chances.

Sweden’s draw sets them up perfectly to progress to the round of 16. If Janne Andersson’s team can finish the group stage with four or more points, they should be able to qualify for the knockout stage. Slovakia will fancy their chances of getting through the knockout stage. A win on Friday would put them on six points and qualification to the next round would be secured.

Slovakia are unbeaten in 2021 and despite their flaws will be difficult to defeat this week. The team are unbeaten in six straight wins with two finishing in wins and four as draws. Sweden are unbeaten in six straight fixtures with five of those games finishing in victories. Their nil-nil draw was the first time Sweden had failed to score a goal this year.

Sweden are unbeaten in five all-time matches versus Slovakia. They have posted a record of 3W-2D-0L. Can the Swedes keep their good form versus Slovakia going?

Sweden vs Slovakia Betting Odds

 

Sweden had to play defensively against Spain to claim a point. It is a tactic Andersson may not have to deploy versus Slovakia. Sweden kept 14% possession, four shots with one on target, and completed a mere 162 passes. The game versus Slovakia should be more even than the fixture against Sweden.

Leading sportsbooks have Sweden at odds of 5/6 to win the match and move to four points in the group. At the end of matchday 2 in Group E, both Sweden and Spain could be on four points from six available. Of course, that is if both national teams win their respective games.

Slovakia have everything to gain on Friday against Sweden. A win would allow them to qualify for the next round with six points from six available. Slovakia were good against Poland and certainly surprised Euro 2020 tournament onlookers. The team’s defence stood up to Poland’s attack and kept Robert Lewandowski from troubling their goal. Slovakia played with a man advantage yet kept 42% possession. They tallied 11 shots with two on target.

Leading sportsbooks have Slovakia at odds of 4/1 to win the game. It is a surprising underdog set of odds. Of course, Sweden have a better head-to-head record versus Slovakia. Yet, Sweden’s attacking quality is questionable. Alexander Isak and Marcus Berg both had great opportunities to give Sweden the lead versus Spain but couldn’t take their chances. 

Sweden vs Slovakia Team News

Sweden winger Dejan Kulusevksi will return to the team after the team’s extremely strong defensive display against Spain. Kulusevksi will bolster the team’s attack and will likely play along with Berg and Isak. Andersson's side held the Spanish team in Seville with the winger watching on TV. Kulusevksi had to self-isolate from the team along with midfielder Mattias Svanberg due to positive COVID-19 tests.

According to interviews with Andersson in the buildup to the game on Friday, Sweden will go out to attack and not play as defensively versus Slovakia. Isak was Sweden’s best attacking player against Spain. It just so happens Isak plays club football in Spain for Real Sociedad. Isak had a shot saved and was denied by the post before creating a great opportunity for Berg.

On paper, it is easy to overlook Slovakia. Yet, manager Stefan Tarkovic’s team stood up to Poland and played well. A first-half own goal was followed by a goal from a corner by Milan Skriniar. Tarkovic’s midfield worked incessantly against Poland with Juraj Kucka, Ondrej Duda, and the ageless Marek Hamsik playing their socks off.

Although a midfielder, Duda played as the team’s main striker with Hamsik playing behind him. Kucka will play as one of the pivots. Jakub Hromada played alongside Kucka. Tarkovic has no reason to alter the team’s starting XI unless an injury was picked up in the buildup to the Friday game.

Sweden vs Slovakia Prediction

Both teams to score: YES @ 11/10 - BET NOW

 

Sweden and Slovakia should play a very close game in St. Petersburg. Four of Slovakia’s last five matches finished with both teams scoring goals. Although just one of Sweden’s games in 2021 finished with both teams scoring, the teams they kept clean sheets against (other than Spain) were not of too high quality (Estonia, Kosovo, Georgia). Sweden are going to go out and attack versus Slovakia and a goal could come.

Alexander Isak to score anytime @ 2/1 - BET NOW

 

Twenty-one-year-old Alexander Isak scored 17 goals from 34 La Liga games for Real Sociedad. It has led to Isak being linked with a transfer to Liverpool amongst other clubs. Isak could land a big summer transfer with a strong Euro 2020 tournament. He has scored just five goals in 23 matches for Sweden. Isak was the team’s most dangerous attacker versus Spain.

Under 2.5 goals scored @ 8/13 - BET NOW

 

Friday’s game should be a narrow game with a low-scoring final score. Slovakia need to claim a win to achieve progression. A win or point versus Sweden would set the Slovakians up nicely going into Group E matchday 3 versus Spain in Seville.

Three of Slovakia’s last six matches finished with under 2.5 goals scored. Meanwhile, four of Sweden’s last six games finished with under 2.5 goals scored.

A draw will not kill off Sweden’s chances of progression. It would make their final game of the group stage even more important against Poland. Sweden have never lost to Slovakia in five all-time meetings. They could keep that run going with a score draw on Friday in St. Petersburg. The teams are at odds of 12/5 to draw the match at full-time.