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K League Coach World Cup Scouting Report: Sweden

K League Coach World Cup Scout Report: Sweden
South Korea will get their 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia campaign underway on Monday when the Red Devils take on Sweden in Nizhny Novgorod. The K League Coach was sent to cast his eye over Blågult (Blue-Yellow) to see whom and indeed what Shin Tae-yong's men will need to be wary of as well as what the Taeguk Warriors may need to do to ensure victory come Monday night.
(Image via Bundesliga)
Sweden will be confident about their chances against Korea and will also feel as though they have a strong chance of taking second place in Group F. The opening game is a must-win for both sides if they wish to progress to the knockout round.

Tactical Approach

Sweden qualified via the playoffs after a historic victory against Italy. A 1-0 win over two legs saw the Swedes dig in and, much as they had done throughout the qualifying campaign, rely on their organisation, disciplined defending and team cohesion. Janne Andersson's men only allowed two shots on target against Italy in the playoff first leg and further frustrated the Italians in Milan during the second leg.

Sweden will line up in a 4-4-2 with two disciplined central midfielders. The wingers are tasked with getting forward to support the two strikers and also to drift inside just behind the front two, allowing the full-backs to advance, creating an almost 4-2-2-2 shape with width from the high fullbacks.

Sweden are very happy to give up possession when they feel it is necessary and, unlike Korea, they have a very clear system that is well understood by the players.

Predicted Lineup


Threats

The left-hand side will be the main focus of Sweden's build-up play. The talented Emil Forsberg, of RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga, has the ability to be a real game changer and could be subject to a big money move after the World Cup. He will drift in from the left and look to create chances, take players on and score goals himself. Forsberg will be backed up by Werder Bremen's Ludwig Augustinsson or Swansea City's Martin Olsson at left back who will look to overlap as often as possible.
 Marcus Berg is in his best international form and was the team's top scorer in qualifying, though this was helped by getting four against Luxembourg. The 31-year-old target man plays in the Middle East and will test the Korean back line, but isn't someone who would strike fear into an opposition defence.

Sweden will also offer a threat from set pieces. Their delivery and aerial threat saw them score 10 goals in qualifying from aerial crosses or set pieces, and their goal against Italy came via a nod down from a long throw.

However, the main concern for Shin Tae-yong and the team will be how strong Sweden are defensively. Korea have struggled to break down tough defences and Sweden will feel they are more than capable of keeping a clean sheet in the opening game.

Opportunities

Korea will be given the opportunity to dictate the game and create chances. Sweden will at times sit back and allow Korea to have the ball, allowing plenty of opportunities to build attacks. 

Captain and central defender Andreas Granvqvist is closing in on the end of his international career and doesn't like players running at him, something Son Heung-min and the speedier players in the team must try to exploit.

A rigid organised defense has formed the cornerstone of Swedish tactical approach, but if Korea are able to rotate attacking roles and use the flair of Son Heung-min, Hwang Hee-chan, and Lee Seung-woo they may cause issues for the Swedes and find joy that way.

Associate Editor Matthew Binns previews Sweden Vs Korea: here

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