After edging Slovakia on Matchday 2 courtesy of an Emil Forsberg penalty, Sweden are the surprise section leaders ahead of the Group E finale and results on Monday ensured their round of 16 berth.
Poland require a win to reach the knockout rounds. To that end, Robert Lewandowski’s header to earn a draw with Spain on Saturday arrived as a welcome boon.
Sweden: Olsen; Lustig, Lindelöf, Danielson, Augustinsson; S Larsson, Ekdal, Olsson, Forsberg; Isak, Quaison
Misses next match if booked: Lustig, Olsson
Poland: Szczęsny; Bereszyński, Bednarek, Glik; Jóźwiak, Moder, Krychowiak, Zieliński, Puchacz; Lewandowski, Świderski
Misses next match if booked: Jóźwiak, Klich, Lewandowski, Moder
Sujay Dutt, Sweden reporter: Group E leaders Sweden have looked solid in defence, grinding their way to a draw against Spain before finding their attacking form against Slovakia, particularly in the second half. Alexander Isak has taken on much of the responsibility for Sweden’s forays forward; here’s hoping he can open his scoring account for the finals against Poland.
Piotr Koźmiński, Poland reporter: I cannot remember two such contrasting Polish performances in the space of a few days. The effort against Spain restored faith in the team following the opening loss to Slovakia. Poland’s recent form is not as good as that of Sweden (unbeaten in their last seven games) but there is belief that a new chapter can be written. Another Lewandowski goal would be his fourth at a EURO, taking him clear of the man with whom he shares the national record, Jakub Błaszczykowski.
View from the camps
Janne Andersson, Sweden coach: “We want to win the group; it would give us more rest ahead of the next match. We’re up against a physically strong, highly motivated Poland side. They run a lot, they tackle and battle – not unlike ourselves. They also have Robert Lewandowski up front. We need to handle their initial pressing better than we did against Spain, to give us spaces to exploit.”
Paulo Sousa, Poland coach: “It is true that from a statistical point of view, Sweden have a better record in games against Poland but if we look to the past, we won’t move forward. We are only focused on what is now. Sweden are a perfect team. They press very well, they are good in set-pieces, they know how to play such games. There is huge diversity in their play, depending on the situation. And for us is like a final. We have worked hard since the first day of the training camp and we also get a lot of energy from the fans. We have not felt we have played away at the EURO finals, as the fans always supported us. It is a big honour for me to represent them.”
Marcus Danielson, Sweden defender: “We can’t focus on just one player [Robert Lewandowski]. Of course he’s their best and most important player, but we need to defend as a team – against him and the rest of the Polish team. All the players work hard together. We have a structure and a defence that works really well, and we never shy away from the effort needed in every match.”
Tymoteusz Puchacz, Poland defender: “Sweden are very tough opponents, but from a personal point of view, the last game with them I remember and played in was at Under-18 level, where we prevailed 1-0. I hope to get the same result on Wednesday. We must be brave against Sweden. What I liked against Spain was our aggression.”