After a promising 2-1 victory over Turkey in the UEFA Nations League opener, Russia will host Sweden at the Kaliningrad Stadium, hoping for a positive outcome that would cement them on top of the Group 2.
The Sbornaya’s impressive World Cup success which saw them dismissed Spain in the round of 16, seems to have made a massive impact on the squad despite an unfortunate quarter-finals exit following a 3-2 defeat to Croatia. Stanislav Cherchesov’s players have managed to replicate outstanding form from the final tournament, as they’ve swept the Czech Republic aside with a commanding 5-1 victory in a friendly challenge three days after winning in Trabzon.
In the meantime, the Blue-Yellow were one of the protagonists in Russia where they’ve reached the quarter-finals, defying the odds. Not only they managed to leave Germany behind in the group stage, but they’ve also outscored Switzerland in the round of 16 before suffering 2-0 elimination by England. However, Janne Andersson side’s notable drop in form has resulted in two frustrating defeats to Turkey and Austria, in which they’ve conceded five goals, two more than they allowed for the entire final tournament.
Artyom Dzyuba will lead the squad with the captain’s armband after Igor Akinfeev retired from the national team, as well as, Sergei Ignashevich, Yuri Zhirkov, and Alexander Samedov. As for the visitors, Jimmy Durmaz, Marcus Berg, and John Guidetti will try to fill the gap in attack left by the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
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