Sweden vs the Netherlands: direct or play-off seat?
So after a terrible game in Finland where we were lucky enough to escape with three points, its time to move on to the last official game of the Euro 2012 qualifiers. Oh, sure, there is still a play-off coming up, but there is one last chance that we might just be able to avoid that and wouldn´t that be nice? There is no way in hell I want to end up playing against teams like Bosnia or Montenegro for the chance to be at the party next summer. Given how the last couple of games have looked, we don´t have a chance!
That brings us to the game tomorrow. On paper there is no way we are going to beat the Netherlands. It doesn´t even matter that they have four regulars missing in Sneijder, Stekelenburg, Heitinga, and Robben (not surprising that the glass man is missing). So are they going to show up and Stockholm and try to run out the clock and start preparing for next year? I doubt it. I think they will show up with a starting eleven full of hungry young guns looking to show the coach that they are ready to go for next year.
What about us then? Well we are without our captain who was banned for this match following Moisanders beautiful dive in the Finland game. So we start the whole thing without our one big star. The truth is that for a game like this, when things haven´t been working as they should up front and Ibrahimovic is out of form then it might just be better with the B squad we have.
For this game we should try to pack the middlefield and support our defenders at all times. The counter is the way to go for any kind of offensive moves and it won´t be wise in any way to lull ourselves into the notion that the Dutch are on holiday in Stockholm. The thing that speaks for us is that we don´t lose that often at home in Råsunda. Then again most of the statistics that say just that were with another kind of Sweden that could tango with the bigger nations precisely because we had a super-solid defense. Those days are gone, but I hope Hamren gets the boys to play low and try for the 1-0 win on a late counter. I don´t see it happening.
Swedens starting eleven for this is so hard to call that I am just going to admit that this is what I would like to see and that it might just as well be something radically different.
Lustig, Mellberg, Majstorovic, Olsson
Larsson, Elm, Bajrami
With this line-up we can have Svensson and Källström working hard going on defense and then cranking up the pace a bit when we can go for the counter. The question mark is how often are we going to have the ball.
Prediction: 2-1 for the Netherlands and we go to the play-offs to fight the unknown, knowing all along that a win against Hungary or at least a tie would have made sure we weren´t in this nightmare to begin with.
I’m going to say a 1-1 tie…then we root like hell for Portugal to beat Denmark and we still get 2nd best
Posted from United States
Yeah that is a realistic thing to hope for. The problem is that both Denmark and Portugal are playing well at the moment. I am happy that they moved the game time so that both teams in Copenhagen can´t play on our result. Not like that will stop them from getting info on what is going on, but still it helps a bit. To get a tie or an extremely lucky win (hey its football, it could happen) we would need to play a perfect game: meaning we don´t put one foot wrong the whole game. The last time we did that was in 2006 so I remain skeptical. Can´t believe I am cheering for Portugal!
Posted from Sweden
We didn’t play a perfect game but we still won.
Rooting for Portugal to beat Denmark – where’s the nordic pride and Swedish self confidence?
Rooting for Portugal to beat Denmark was just a plan B. We eventually didn’t need that to happen.
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