Rinse and repeat for solid Swedes
Knockout football is often nervy and cagey but dramatic, which is why we love it so much. There will definitely be a lot of fight shown from both nations in the round of 16 tie between Sweden and Ukraine. The Swedes despite not sparkling have to be one of the standout teams from the group stage to beat Spain to top spot, taking seven points in Group E. Hampden Park will see the third placed side from Group C come in as narrow underdogs. Ukraine tasted one goal defeats against Netherlands and Austria but their victory over North Macedonia proved enough for them to seal progression. Roman Yaremchuk is a threat up top and will test the Swedish backline marshalled adeptly by Manchester United's Victor Lindelof.
Sweden did not concede a goal in the tournament until their thoroughly entertaining 3-2 win over Poland on matchday three, RB Leipzig's Emil Forsberg continues to step up for his nation. At 29 the wideman is a senior member of the Bundesliga and that may have helped him transfer should leadership qualities as he takes a lot of the creative burden in the side. As for Ukraine Andriy Yarmolenko is a different player when he pulls on the shirt compared to his up and down club form in recent years, allow the 31-year-old to cut in onto his left foot at your peril. Perhaps Ukraine have the better individuals with Oleksandr Zinchenko and Ruslan Malinovsky pulling the strings in central areas but Sweden are a very well oiled machine. Their 4-4-2 system is extremely well drilled and every player knows their specific role within it inside out.
Alexander Isak is the bright spark leading the line but with Dejan Kulusevski, Robin Quaison and, match winner last time out, Viktor Claesson providing competition for places there is a healthy attacking contingent developing. Having not tasted defeat yet in the competition it would be a surprise to see the Swedes bow out at this stage but the cut throat nature of the knockout stages may come back to bite them if they are not clinical.
The winner of this will go in as underdogs in the quarter final versus England or Germany, a mouth-watering occasion for two of the smaller nations in the last 16. It will be tightly fought and could well go all the way to spot kicks.
Sweden - Ukraine Betting Tip
Under 2.25 Asian goals with bet365 at odds of 19/25 or 1.73.