Women’s Euro 2022 team guide: Lively outsiders Sweden hope to end 38-year wait for second trophy

·2 min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

The first ever winners of the Women’s European Championships look like lively outsiders as the tournament gets underway in England this summer.

Sweden’s group stage clash with defending champions the Netherlands promises to be one of the highlights of the early rounds but the Swedes will be hoping to go much further.

Here we look at their chances...

Tournament record

Best finish: Winners (1984)

The first European champions have, with exception of a dominant Germany, been the continent’s most consistent side, but will be desperate to end their 38-year wait for a second major tournament success.

Since that first triumph, Sweden have reached four finals and a further seven semi-finals across World Cups and European Championships without getting over the line, and have also been silver medalists at each of the past two Olympics.

The coach: Peter Gerhardsson

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Gerhardsson spent the entirety of his playing career in his homeland and had only coached in the men’s game prior to taking his current role after Euro 2017, having guided Gothenburg side BK Hacken to the Swedish Cup, the first major trophy in their history.

The 62-year-old led Sweden to a third-placed finish at the 2019 World Cup and then missed out on Olympic gold last summer after a penalty shootout defeat to Canada.

Key player: Stina Blackstenius

 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Increasingly familiar to English fans after her switch to the WSL with Arsenal in January, Blackstenius is regarded as one of the best strikers on the planet.

The 26-year-old has an excellent record in major tournaments, scoring the winner in Sweden’s last-16 and quarter-final wins at the 2019 World Cup, before finding the net five times at the Olympics in Tokyo.

Form

Decent. Sweden have not enjoyed as many of the emphatic wins over minor opposition as some of the other leading contenders but their only “defeat” in the last twelve months came on penalties in the Olympic final.

They got some more spot-kick practice in when beating Italy in a shootout in the final of the Algarve Cup earlier this year, though they were denied a decent test against Denmark earlier in that tournament after their Scandinavian neighbours forfeited due to a Covid outbreak.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Jennifer Falk (Hacken), Hedvig Lindahl (Atletico Madrid), Zecira Musovic (Chelsea).

Defenders: Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea), Hanna Glas (Bayern Munich), Jonna Andersson (Hammarby), Nathalie Bjorn (Everton), Amanda Ilestedt (Paris Saint-Germain), Emma Kullberg (Brighton), Amanda Nilden (Juventus), Linda Sembrant (Juventus).

Midfielders: Caroline Seger (Rosengard), Filippa Angeldahl (Manchester City), Hanna Bennison (Everton), Kosovare Asllani (Real Madrid), Elin Rubensson (Hacken), Johanna Rytting Kaneryd (Hacken).

Forwards: Lina Hurtig (Juventus), Fridolina Rolfo (Barcelona), Stina Blackstenius (Arsenal), Sofia Jakobsson (San Diego Wave), Rebecka Blomqvist (Wolfsburg), Olivia Schough (Rosengard).

Group stage fixtures

  • July 9 - Netherlands (Bramall Lane - 8pm)

  • July 13 - Switzerland (Bramall Lane - 5pm)

  • July 17 - Portugal (Leigh Sports Village - 5pm)

You can follow the Women’s Euros across Standard Sport this summer!

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