Sweden vs Ukraine Euro 2020 Prediction, Odds, Betting Tips

  • Sweden caused an upset by finishing top of Group E ahead of Spain
  • Ukraine squeezed through as one of the best third-place finishers
  • Sweden’s strong defense and streetwise strategy should get them through

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Sweden vs Ukraine Odds

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To Win to Nil Odds
Sweden +260
Ukraine +410

Sweden vs Ukraine Pick

Our Pick

Back Sweden to win to nil. Janne Andersson’s side are solid at the back and do not give up too many chances. Ukraine only impressed in fits and starts in the group stage, so Sweden’s conservative approach could pay dividends once more.

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How to Watch Sweden vs Ukraine

Sweden vs Ukraine Information
Teams Sweden vs Ukraine
Location Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland
Time Tuesday, 29 June 2021, 15.00 PM EDT
How to watch ESPN

Sweden’s Style Might Not Be Pretty but It’s Definitely Effective

Sweden were among the biggest disappointments in the group stage of Euro 2016. Drawn into a difficult group alongside Italy, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland, the Swedes only managed one point from a possible nine. The results were forgivable given the strength of two of their opponents, but Sweden’s performances offered very little cause for optimism. It was no surprise that Erik Hamren’s seven-year tenure in charge of the national team came to an end after the tournament in France.

Janne Andersson, a man largely unknown outside his home country, took the reins and has done a fine job in the five years since. Andersson guided Sweden to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 2018, and is now targeting a place in the same stage of the European Championship. He has done all this without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Swedish superstar who was due to un-retire from international soccer in time for Euro 2020, only for injury to intervene.

Whether Sweden would have won Group E with Ibrahimovic in their side is a matter for speculation. What we can say with certainty is that soccer is a complex game, and having a world-class player in your team can sometimes be counter-productive if his presence adversely affects the overall structure and strategy.

Ibrahimovic would have drawn much of the focus had he participated at this competition, but the group stage showed that Sweden have plenty about them beyond their most famous footballing son. Emil Forsberg and Alex Isak provide the quality in attack, and the rest of the side is extremely well drilled by Andersson. Their 4-4-2 formation is difficult to play through, as Spain, Slovakia and Poland all found when Sweden finished top of their group with seven points from nine.

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Ukraine Showed Flashes of Quality but Only Scraped Through

Ukraine were the most fortunate of the third-place finishers to advance to the knockout phase, doing so with a return of three points and a negative goal difference. Andriy Shevchenko and his players had to wait until the conclusion of the group phase to learn that they were through, and they will be determined not to waste the second chance they have been handed by the tournament’s tweaked 24-team format.

Ukraine performed well at times in the first stage. They went 2-0 down in their opening game against the Netherlands before drawing level with two quick-fire goals in the second half. The Dutch dug deep to find a winner, but Ruslan Malinovskyi, Roman Yaremchuk and Andriy Yarmolenko all caught the eye. Ukraine then beat North Macedonia 2-1, before suffering a 1-0 defeat by Austria that saw them finish third in Group C.

It was that loss to Austria that was most concerning for Ukraine. A draw would have been enough for Shevchenko’s side to guarantee a place in the knockout phase, and perhaps they were caught between two stools on the day, not knowing whether to go all out for the win or target a tie. Either way, Ukraine were well beaten by an Austria team that should really have won by a wider margin. Ukraine were flat going forward and ill-disciplined at the back. They cannot afford a repeat performance on Tuesday.

Sweden Have the Nous and Discipline to Get the Job Done

We know exactly what to expect from Sweden at Hampden Park. Andersson is not a head coach who is ever likely to adopt a plan B, instead focusing on how his team can better execute plan A. Sweden will be compact and narrow in their 4-4-2 formation without the ball. When they get possession, they will look to break forward quickly and will not overelaborate with their passing in deeper areas. Set-pieces will be favored as a route to goal, and Isak’s ball-carrying ability will aid their counter-attacking thrusts.

Ukraine will probably end up having a lot of possession on Tuesday, and they must hope that their playmaker Malinovskyi is more influential than he was against Austria last time out. Ukraine must also ensure they tighten up defensively, having allowed their opponents to create far too many chances during the group phase – in terms of xG, Ukraine had the sixth-worst defensive record.

Sweden beat Switzerland 1-0 in the last 16 of the 2018 World Cup, and a similar result looks likely here. As a slightly safer bet, a Sweden win to nil at +260 is attractive.

Andersson’s side kept two clean sheets in the group stage, and were only undone by Robert Lewandowski’s brilliance in the victory over Poland. Ukraine do not have the same level of individual talent up top, so Sweden’s well-organized backline should do the business again.

In attack, the presence of Isak and the returning Dejan Kulusevski – he has been absent after testing positive for coronavirus – mean Sweden have more quality now than they did three years ago. The curtain could be about to come down on Ukraine’s Euro 2020 campaign.

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Greg Lea

Expert on Soccer

Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]