Kosovo VS Sweden, visitors to use their big-match experience to good effect

Match Time:3/29/2021 02:45 Monday  (GMT+8)

FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA) --  Kosovo   VS   Sweden

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Sweden face Kosovo on Sunday evening with the opportunity to maintain their position at the top of Group B.


While the visitors kicked off their World Cup qualifying campaign with a narrow win over Georgia, Kosovo thrashed Lithuania by a 4-0 scoreline in a friendly.


Match preview

The decision to recall Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the Sweden setup has been made to give the nation the best possible chance of making an impact at Euro 2020 and qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.


However, the Scandinavian outfit were only able to edge past Georgia on Thursday night, the veteran providing the assist for Viktor Claesson's decisive goal.


With Spain being held by Greece, Janne Andersson will recognise that the three points were far more important than the performance, but there will be concerns that Sweden did not produce better quality in the final third.


While Georgia deserve credit for the part that they played, Andersson will demand that his players raise their level against opponents who have the potential to cause a surprise.


A day earlier, Kosovo made light work of Lithuania, breezing to a 4-0 result which included their second clean sheet in succession.


Bernard Challandes will be relieved to have witnessed a response from his squad, who have now recorded back-to-back wins after 10 games without success.


The disappointment of failing to qualify for Euro 2020 now appears to be out of their system, and they will relish their tag of underdogs in this group.


Although an opening double-header with Sweden and Spain is not the ideal start, Challandes knows that avoiding defeat in one of those games will give his players something to work with when their campaign resumes in September.


These two nations met in an international friendly in January 2020, albeit with two heavily-weakened teams on show as Sweden prevailed 1-0 in Doha.


Kosovo form (all competitions):LDLLWW

Sweden World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:W

Sweden form (all competitions):LLLWLW


Team News

With Sunday's game being followed by an international friendly with Estonia, Andersson is not expected to ring the changes to his Sweden XI.


Mattias Svanberg may replace veteran Sebastian Larsson, who completed the 90 minutes on Thursday, while Emil Krafth is an alternative to Mikael Lustig.


Either Ibrahimovic or Marcus Berg will partner Alexander Isak in attack with Emil Forsberg remaining among the replacements.


Barring any late fitness issues, Challandes is unlikely to make any alterations to the side which started the friendly against Lithuania.


Vedat Muriqi, who has returned to full fitness after a frustrating campaign with Lazio, will be aiming to add to his 11 goals from 27 appearances for his country.


Kosovo possible starting lineup:

Ujkani; Aliti, Hadergjonaj, Vojvoda, Dresevic, Berisha, Kryeziu, Zeneli, Celina, Rashica, Muriqi


Sweden possible starting lineup:

Nordfeldt; Lustig, Lindelof, Helander, Augustinsson; Kulusevski, Olsson, Svanberg, Claesson; Isak, Ibrahimovic


Kosovo 1-2 Sweden


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