Friday, 17 June 2016

Italy vs Sweden Euro 2016 Football Match Preview And Prediction - June 17, 2016


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Italy striker Graziano Pelle ended the game against Belgium with a foot problem, having earlier dislocated his finger during the match.

However, neither injury is serious and the forward is available to play, so the Azzurri could be unchanged.

Sweden may be without right-back Mikael Lustig, who was forced off in their opening game with a groin injury.

He is likely to be replaced by centre-back Erik Johansson, with Victor Lindelof switching to right-back.

Prior to this summer, Italy had won their opening match just twice at eight European Championship finals, but there was no slow start for the Azzurri in Lyon on Monday. A 2-0 win against the Belgians - the highest-placed European side in the Fifa rankings - demonstrated that Italy are being shaped into a formidable unit by coach Antonio Conte.

"Dream Italy, Dream" was the headline the following morning in La Gazzetta dello Sport, which hailed "Conte's Miracle", while Corriere dello Sport led with "Viva Italia". After largely stodgy displays in qualifying, the Italian media were delighted to see Conte's side produce a performance to be proud of.

In contrast to the Italians, Sweden looked flat in their game against the Republic of Ireland, snatching a 1-1 draw despite failing to even register a shot on target. "Nobody cheered", read the front page of Sweden's Metro the following day, calling the display "grim".

The Swedes' goal, scored by Ireland's Ciaran Clark, was created by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who will be the danger man as he once again tries to become the first man to score at four different European Championships. He knows the opposition well, having spent seven years playing in Serie A for Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan, and has called Italy his "second home".

Head-to-head

Italy have lost only six of 22 meetings with Sweden (W10, D6).
However, the Azzurri's record against the Swedes in competitive games is four wins, two draws and four defeats.
Erik Hamren's first match as Sweden coach was against Italy in November 2009, when Giorgio Chiellini scored the only goal in a friendly victory for the Azzurri. That was the teams' last meeting.
Italy eliminated Sweden with a 2-1 group stage win at Euro 2000. The sides drew 1-1 at Euro 2004.

Italy

Seven of Italy's last nine goals against Sweden have come in the first half.
Italy are unbeaten in 11 competitive games under Antonio Conte (W8, D3). Their last defeat came against Uruguay at the 2014 World Cup (under Cesare Prandelli).
Italy have never scored more than two goals in their 34 games at European Championship finals.
The Azzurri have kept three successive clean sheets. A fourth shut-out would be their best run since a four-match streak during the 2006 World Cup (which they went on to win).
The Azzurri have only lost two of their 22 games at the group stage of the European Championship (W11, D9).
Antonio Candreva has been directly involved in three goals in his last two appearances for Italy (one goal, two assists).

Sweden

Sweden have only won three of their last 15 games at the European Championship (D5, L7).
The Swedes drew 1-1 against the Republic of Ireland despite not having a single shot on target.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic can become the first player to score at four different European Championships. He has six goals in 11 matches so far - including one against Italy at Euro 2004.
Sweden's last seven goals have been scored by seven different players (including one own goal).

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