Sweden vs. Poland Odds, Pick, Prediction: Expect Tight Affair in Euro 2020 Group Match (June 23)
Jose Manuel Vidal/Pool/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Sweden standout Alexander Isak, center, reacts after missing a shot on goal.
- Sweden and Poland meet on Wednesday in Euro 2020 group play with the Swedes in need of just a point to advance.
- Poland will need a win and then some help to reach the knockout stage, thanks largely to a surprising loss in their opening match to Slovakia.
- Jeremy Pond breaks down his Sweden vs. Poland pick and preview below.
Sweden vs. Poland Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+125 / -152)|
|Day | Time||Wednesday | 12 p.m. ET|
|Odds updated Tuesday afternoon via DraftKings.|
Sweden hasn’t reached the Euro 2020 knockout round in 17 years. Well, that could all change Wednesday when the surprising Group E leader can advance with just a draw against Poland at Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg.
The Swedes sit atop the group with four points, despite scoring just one goal through two matches. They opened with a tie against heavily favored Spain, then followed up that result with a 1-0 victory over Slovakia.
In contrast, Poland is firmly up against it with what could be the final match of the tournament. The Polish, led by star striker Robert Lewandowski, earned a huge point against Spain in a 1-1 draw last time out. However, that’s all they have in their account and will need a victory to have a chance at moving on.
Let’s take a look at these combatants and see where the value sits entering this intriguing matchup.
Defensive Prowess Carrying Sweden in Group Stage
If you asked me at the start of this competition if I thought the Swedes would be sitting two points clear of Spain heading into the final group-stage match, I probably would have chuckled. So, yes, the joke would have been on me.
Manager Janne Andersson has delivered a masterclass when it comes to tactics, lineup selections and overall approach thus far. He has the defensive-minded Swedes on the brink of ending a long absence from the Euro 2020 knockout phase and should feel confident in their chances.
Sweden defended its tail off in the scoreless draw against Spain, with the box score and advanced metrics telling of a completely lopsided match. The Spaniards held a 1.9-1.1 edge on expected goals, but it was the possession numbers that showed how much La Furia Roja dominated the affair.
The Swedes managed to possess the ball just 15 percent (yes, 15 percent) in a match held at Estadio La Cartuja de Sevilla in Seville. Spain had a 17-4 edge in shots, including a 5-0 advantage in attempts on goal.
Sweden followed up that defensive clinic with a 1-0 win against Slovakia, faring much better in the xG battle (1.8-0.5 xG) to put itself in this lofty position. The Swedes will likely continue with the 4-4-2 formation they used in both games, so I don’t expect many changes facing a reeling Poland side.
Poland Needs Big Result to Reach Knockout Round
Yes, the Polish have their backs against the wall and really have no one to blame but themselves. I fully expected Poland to get no better than a tie against Spain, but the opening 2-1 loss against Slovakia was the ghastly result that could be the reason why it missed out on the knockout phase.
Poland had Slovakia pinned in its defensive third of the pitch up until veteran defensive midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak delivered a careless foul, resulting in his second caution of the match and ultimate red card. Tied 1-1 at that point, the Slovaks scored seven minutes later and saw out the 2-1 victory.
Lewandowski and his teammates utterly dominated proceedings, finishing with a 1.3-0.3 xG advantage despite playing down a man for a half hour. Thankfully for them, they were able to scratch out the draw against Spain despite being crushed in the xG column by a 2.2-0.6 margin.
Now, Poland is forced to go for all three points against Sweden. Unfortunately, wins have been extremely hard to come by for the Polish of late. Poland has just one victory in its last eight matches across all competitions, which came in a 3-0 victory over lowly Andorra on March 28 in a World Cup qualifying match.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This showdown has the all the makings of being a tight, low-scoring affair even with Poland having to go on the offensive in search of a win.
However, Sweden might be playing the best defense of any nation in this tournament and has players like Alexander Isak who can burn its foe on the counterattack at any moment.
For that reason, I’m backing Sweden at +0.25 on the spread line via the Asian Handicap at -132 odds as my top pick. The Swedes have been difficult to break down, so I can’t see a Polish side having any more success than Spain.
I’m also going to the Asian Handicap with a play on the total at staying under 2.25 goals at fair -109 odds via DraftKings. There have been at least three goals scored in six of Poland’s last nine matches overall, but I don’t see that trend continuing facing such a defense-oriented nation like Sweden.
The Swedes know they only need a coveted point to get out of the group, so don’t expect a high-scoring showdown on Russian soil.
Pick: Sweden +0.25 (-132) | Total Under 2.25 Goals (-109)