Today in the 14th of 16 blogs I will take a look at Sweden. They will begin their tourney against Greece on the 10th of June.
On June 10, the Swedes will play yet another game in a big tourney. But this time, the Swedes would love to actually make a big splash in this tourney. Ever since Sweden started to play, they have always been good but not great. This year might be the year of change (and no, I'm not talking about Obama). Sweden are slowly becoming more and more of a world power as the Eastern European countries are. It's kind of like the traditional powers are slipping, and then new guard are coming up. As this continues to happen over the next 10-12 years, all the tourneys are going to be closer than they used to be and this will allow for more fans to watch the beatiful game. Well, anyway Sweden are really starting to not only build their league up, but they are starting to create superstars.
Strength- The Magic Triangle is what I like to call the trio of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrik Larsson, and Freddy Ljunberg. At the '06 World Cup, these three carried the team and I enjoyed the way they played. Sure, they are good players but they really can't play good if they want to go anywhere. They will have to play great football if they have any chance to lead Sweden to the promised land. Even though the youngsters Wilhelmsson and Kallstrom are getting better, these three are going to have to play the tourney of their lives. I hope these three link up well, because they don't have a chance after that.
Weakness- The defence is a big iffy for me. They only have one good defender back there is Olof Mellberg and he isn't always very impressive to me. If he and the keeper Andreas Isaksson can play well, they may be able to keep them out of goal too much, but I doubt that will happen. I think the midfield isn't going to do any favors in helping out on defence and this will put additional stress on a structure that isn't very secure in the first place. If Sweden want to win, it's simple, score goals, goals, and more goals.
Player to Watch- This one is very easy. It's the man that won the Serie A for Inter Milan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. If not for him, the Nerazurri wouldn't have won the match that Inter won the title on. With his size and above average speed combined with his natual goal-scoring ability, Zlatan can score five goals in the group stage alone. If he doesn't score that many Sweden are going to have a hard time.
Prediction- Sweden actually will play decent football, but will fall short and come in 3rd place in Group D.
Once again, thanks. Tomorrow, I'll look at Switzerland. Until next time, it's been Keeper and I'm out.