Sweden vs Algeria
Eleda Stadion forms the backdrop for the first-ever encounter between Sweden and Algeria.
Sweden eked out a morale-boosting 2-1 win over Mexico a few days ago to bounce back from a sluggish 2022/23 UEFA Nations League Group B4 campaign (W1, D1, L4), which resulted in relegation to League C. The Swedes cannot catch a break in 2022, as their underwhelming Nations League performances followed up a heartbreaking 2-0 defeat to Poland in the World Cup playoffs final. Barring a 2-0 win at Slovenia in the aftermath, Janne Andersson’s men have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last six international fixtures, conceding 2+ goals in three. There’s no consolation for Sweden, with the ‘Blagult’ going winless in their four previous matches on home soil, extra-time excluded (D2, L2).
Meanwhile, Algeria will miss out on the World Cup finals for the second tournament running after bowing out to Cameroon in the African playoffs final in March. However, unlike Sweden, the ‘Desert Warriors’ have since gone from strength to strength in the aftermath, racking up a scintillating 12 victories in 14 matches (D2), including 11 consecutive wins before a 1-1 draw with Mali last time out. Defensively robust, the ‘Greens’ have kept a clean sheet 11 times during that 14-game sequence, doing so on four straight occasions before the Mali game. Low scoring has been a common theme in Algeria’s away matches in 2022, with three of their four outings this calendar year featuring under 2.5 total goals.