18:45 GMT 09 June 2017
As the 2018 World Cup kicks off in Russia in just around a year’s time, there’s still plenty of qualifiers to be played and France make the trip to Sweden to continue their respective international breaks. The two sides meet in Group A and after just 5 games, France top the group with 13 points from a possible 15 while Sweden sit 2nd with 10 points but may have to qualify via the play-off if they eventually finish 2nd in the group.
Sweden have only beaten France once at the last 12 times of asking and France will be hoping to keep their dominance over Sweden up in this game. They’ve won 3 of the last 5 meetings between the two and the earlier qualifier in Group A saw France come out 2-1 winners as Pogba and Payet scored either side after Forsberg broke the deadlock.
A win for Sweden in this fixture would put down a huge marker and statement of intent and it means they would go level on points with their opponents, giving them a stronger chance of automatic qualification to next summer’s tournament. International legends Kim Kallstrom and Zlatan Ibrahimović recently retired from international football and that has meant two big figures in the dressing room are gone. They’ll be relying on the youngsters, like Emil Forsberg, to shine through.
Latest matches: Sweden
It’s vital that France win this fixture as Didier Deschamps is possibly staring down the barrel in terms of his job as French manager. It’s also vital for their hopes of qualification as another win will really put some breathing space between themselves and the chasing pack in Group A. Kylian Mbappe should be called upon to make his 3rd appearance for Les Bleus after his incredible league form for Monaco last season and with Giroud, they should fire France to a win.
Latest matches: France
Although France will go into the game as favourites, Sweden certainly won’t be scared of the challenge and they won’t be scared in front of goal either even without Ibrahimović. The Scandinavians have scored in all of their games since the European Championships last summer while France have only failed to score in one game since. Both sides should find the back of the net but with a much stronger side, it should be France who take all 3 points in this one.
09 June 2017 - 18:45 GMT
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