European 2018 World Cup qualifying continues this Friday, June 9th with one of the biggest games seeing Sweden host France in a Group A showdown at the Friends Arena just outside of Stockholm.
France currently leads Group A with 13 points followed by Sweden with 10, Bulgaria with nine, Holland at seven, Belarus with two and Luxembourg in last place with just one point.
Sweden vs France – bet365 Soccer Betting Line:
- bet365 currently lists France as the favorites to win the game at 7/10 with Sweden 17/4 and a draw at 5/2
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Sweden vs France – Head to Head:
- These two teams have met 20 times in the past in competitive games with France winning 10, losing five and drawing the five and outscoring Sweden 28-18. Their last meeting was in November in World Cup qualifying with France winning 2-1 at home. Sweden has won just one of the last 14 encounters along with five draws and eight losses. The lone win was 2-0 in June of 2012 in the European Championships.
Sweden – A Closer Look:
Sweden enters the match in second place in Group A behind the French. They have 10 points from three wins, a draw and a loss with 10 goals scored and three allowed. The team is ranked number 34 in the world by FIFA and has four victories and two defeats in their past six matches. They came from behind to beat Portugal 3-2 in their last game in March. Sweden made its international debut in 1908 and was ranked as high as number two in the world in June of 1950.
The Swedish side is currently managed by Janne Andersson with Andreas Granqvist listed as the team’s skipper. They have qualified for 11 World Cups in the past with their best showing being runners up when they hosted the event in 1958. The team needs to keep an eye on the rearview mirror as Bulgaria could pass them in the standings this weekend if Sweden. In addition, Holland could draw level with them if the Dutch win and Sweden loses.
France – A Closer Look:
France enters the game in first place in Group A in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. They have 13 points from four wins, a draw and no losses with 10 goals scored and three allowed. France is currently the sixth-ranked team in the world by FIFA and has five wins, a draw and a loss in their last seven contests. Their highest ranking was number one in the world from May of 2001 to May of 2002. Their last outing was a 5-0 home thumping over Paraguay on June 2nd.
The squad is currently managed by former player Didier Deschamps with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris being the team’s captain. France won the World Cup as hosts in 1998 when they beat Brazil 3-0. They were also runners-up to Italy in 2006 when they lost 5-3 in a penalty shootout. The country has also won a European Championship, the Confederations Cup, and an Olympic title. France is hoping to make the World Cup for the 15th time in its history.
Sweden vs France – Takeaway:
- A win for Sweden will see them tie France for the top spot. However, they could slip to third if they lose and Bulgaria wins in Belarus. There are nine European groups of six teams with the group winners automatically qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The eight second-place teams with the best records will enter a two-game playoff series.