Sweden vs. Serbia – Prediction and Betting Tips | Jun 8, 2024

Both intending to bounce back from midweek friendly defeats, Sweden and Serbia cross paths at the Friends Arena in Solna on Saturday. The Scandinavian hosts fell to a 2-1 loss to Denmark last time out, while their visitors went down by the same scoreline against fellow Euro 2024 competitors Austria.

Match Preview

A penny for the thoughts of newly-appointed Sweden boss Jon Dahl Tomasson as his Blue and Yellow crop lined up against the country of his birth, who took all of two minutes to break the deadlock on Wednesday evening through Tottenham Hotspur’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Newcastle United hotshot Alexander Isak got Sweden back to square one just a few moments later, but with four minutes of normal time remaining, Christian Eriksen’s 41st goal for his nation sealed a nail-biting win for the men in red against their Scandinavian colleagues.

Defeat in Copenhagen followed the script for Sweden, who have strung together a win-loss-win-loss pattern in their opening four friendlies of 2024, also being thrashed by Portugal in between successes over Albania and Estonia, the latter of whom they also bested in Euro 2024 qualifying. However, the Blue and Yellow otherwise did not cut the mustard in their preliminary section and will therefore not be present at the continental championships, the first time since 1996 that the Nordic nation have been forced to observe the tournament from home.

Now entering a new era under Tomasson following Janne Andersson’s lengthy reign, Sweden – who are on a four-game winning streak on home territory – have Nations League promotion on their agenda, having dropped down to a League C section including Slovakia, Azerbaijan, and frequent foes Estonia in 2022-23.

On the contrary, Serbia will be among Europe’s 24 finest teams scrapping it out for a slice of international glory in Germany, where Sweden’s recent conquerors Denmark, 2020 runners-up England, and an ever-improving Slovenia side will provide stern opposition in Group C. While all of the Eagles’ imminent Euros rivals won in midweek, Dragan Stojkovic oversaw a dampening 2-1 loss to in-form Austria, as Patrick Wimmer and Christoph Baumgartner struck early before Strahinja Pavlovic managed a consolation effort later in the first half.

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Defeat in Vienna prolonged an alarming spell of Serbian inconsistency, as Stojkovic’s side now have just three triumphs under their belt from their last 10 matches competitive or not, although they have not suffered back-to-back defeats during that 12-month sequence. Not since June 2022 have the Eagles come out on the losing side in consecutive contests, but for a nation brimming with the attacking talent of Dusan Vlahovic, Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, their fans could be forgiven for demanding a lot more.

However, it was all smiles as far as the Serbians were concerned during their pair of 2022-23 Nations League battles with Sweden, who were beaten 1-0 at home by Stojkovic’s side before being embarrassed in a 4-1 thumping in Belgrade, where all-time leading scorer Mitrovic took home the match ball.

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Team News

After an injury-disrupted season with Burnley, Swedish defender Hjalmar Ekdal’s luckless streak continued, as he came on as a half-time substitute but only lasted eight minutes before being stretchered off with a hamstring problem. Sweden and Burnley are still waiting to learn the extent of Ekdal’s condition, but there is no chance of the 25-year-old being available for the weekend, meaning that Victor Lindelof and Isak Hien’s partnership should remain unbroken. Elsewhere in the backline, Ludwig Augustinsson’s no-show in midweek saw Napoli midfielder Jens Cajuste shoe-horned into a left-back role, while Emil Forsberg was overlooked in attack as Niclas Eliasson made his senior debut for the Blue and Yellow.

Serbia boss Stojkovic can empathize when it comes to fresh injury blows, as Nemanja Maksimovic had to be taken off in the 43rd minute of the midweek loss to Austria due to a clash of heads with Florian Grillitsch. It is still not known whether Maksimovic’s Euro 2024 chances could be in any danger, but in any case, concussion protocol will prevent him from turning out at Friends Arena, where Stojkovic is spoiled for choice for midfield replacements. Sasa Lukic, Lazar Samardzic, and Ivan Ilic are all battling to step in for their stricken teammate, while Mitrovic may now be preferred in attack over Vlahovic after the Juventus man was given the nod on Wednesday.

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Sweden Possible Starting Lineup: Olsen; Krafth, Hien, Lindelof, Cajuste; Olsson, Larsson; Kulusevski, Forsberg, Elanga; Isak

Serbia Possible Starting Lineup: Rajkovic; Spajic, Milenkovic, Gudelj, Pavlovic; Ilic, Milinkovic-Savic; Zivkovic, Tadic, Birmancevic; Mitrovic

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Prediction

Goal.mu/Mauri.bet predicts: Sweden 1-1 Serbia

Based on the current form and head-to-head record, a draw seems a likely outcome for this encounter. Both teams are looking to bounce back from recent defeats and have shown inconsistencies in their performances. Sweden’s home advantage and Serbia’s attacking prowess could balance each other out in this friendly clash.

Betting Tips:

  • Both Teams to Score: Yes
  • Over/Under 2.5 Full Time: Under 2.5 goals

Hot Stat: Serbia has not lost consecutive matches since June 2022, while Sweden is on a four-game winning streak at home.

 

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