Spain take on Sweden tonight at La Cartuja Stadium in their last step to book their ticket to the Qatar World Cup. It has been an irregular qualifiers where the national team have showed doubts in every of their games and even have not relied on themselves to end in the first spot, which is a situation that no one remembered to happen recently.
Qualifiers are not an easy path anymore for a team that is totally under construction and that is both capable of the best and the worst. One more point will be enough to accomplish a goal that has been more difficult than expected. Today is just about not failing.
Spain, an unstable national team on their path to the World Cup:
Luis Enrique’s squad has not experienced an easy World Cup qualifiers round in a group that seemed pretty accesible. Their started their journey to Qatar with an unexpected draw to Greece at home; picked up a last-minute win against Georgia; beat Kosovo twice without shining; fell to Sweden in a very poor second half; won against Georgia in their only comfortable game; and did their job by winning 0-1 on the road against Greece.
The National Team has never shown the superiority that they are supposed to have against second and third level opponents, which should make the fans to really think where this team stands now.
There have been some great news along the wat like the arise of young talent, specially the case of Gavi, who has become a starter in the midfield, but the defensive struggle and transitions keep being the biggest weaknesses.
There are not scoring strikers either, but at least RDT has been given the opportunity he deserved so much. Now they just have to close the deal against a Swedish National Team that is always tough to beat.
Sweden, a dangerous rival in World Cup qualifiers:
The Scandinavian team is always a difficult opponent and has already beaten favorite rivals in the past, like Italy in the Russia 2018 Qualifiers. The squad coached by Janne Anderssson are a solid and well-worked block that lock the offensive attempts from the opponent and make the most out of their individual talent through players like Isak or Ibrahimovic to look for counterattacks.
It is true that Sweden need the win, but that is not a reason to get excessive confidence. I expect a similar game to what we saw in the 0-0 draw back in the EURO (same place), that is to say, Spain controlling the ball and Sweden just falling back to look for offensive transitions.
I am sure that Janne Anderssson´s plan is to keep the game even until the last 20 minutes to then look for the winning goal, which is why Luis Enrique’s team must be patient and intelligent to manage time properly and not despair themselves so they avoid making any mistake that can give Sweden the lead.
“Our playing style benefits Sweden”
Luis Enrique in the post game press conference against Greece
Failing is not an option:
Spain has it everything in their hands to book their ticket directly and La Cartuja Stadium will be packed. The draw is enough, but they must go for the win and put the game away as soon as possible to avoid scares.
We are not better than anyone and neither have reasons to believe that any game can be easy. The only important thing is to qualify and earn time to build a competitive team towards Qatar.
Main image: Twitter @SEFutbol.
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