Georgia vs Sweden preview: How to watch, kick off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch

Georgia go up against Sweden in the latter stages of World Cup Qualifying involving teams from Europe, with the away side still having a considerable amount to play for in this group.

It's a game that will be played at the extremely modern Adjarabet Arena in Batumi, involving two sides with very different overall viewpoints heading into the match with regards to qualification for the next major tournament in the footballing calendar.

The home side have little to play for within their group, due to being seven points behind second-place Spain, which is the minimum spot they'd need to be at to stand any chance of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.

However, while Qatar might be out of reach, this game will be a good barometer for the hosts to see where they are at in terms of a level and, without wanting to tempt fate, how much further they might have to go.

On the other hand, Sweden look to be in pole position to take the top spot in this qualifying group, but they will need to bring their A-game to their final two fixtures, starting with this one in Georgia.

They then have a very tough last game away to Spain on Sunday, but before their minds start thinking too big, it's important Janne Andersson and his players keep their feet firmly on the ground ahead of a crucial few days for the country's football team.

Team News

Georgia

The home side will be able to select most players in this game from their chosen squad, which will be welcome news, and indeed relief, to manager Willy Sagnol when picking his starting eleven for this game.

One player who will be out is Guram Giorbelidze, who picked up too many bookings in previous games of qualifying, meaning he is suspended for this game and unavailable for selection by the manager.

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Also absent will be defender Lasha Dvali, for the same reason as the aforementioned Giorbelidze, meaning there will have to be a change at the back in the Georgia team heading into this one.

Sweden

As for the visitors, boss Janne Andersson doesn't have too many absences to worry about for his side either, though he may wish to rotate his team slightly ahead of the arguably tougher game against Spain at the weekend.

Ken Sema, picked originally for the squad in this international break, has withdrawn from the group as a result of picking up an injury, and Albin Ekdal is suspended because of picking up too many yellow cards.

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That said, one man who will be in contention to start the game is Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic - he missed the previous international matches in October with injury, but is ready to play in this one to help get his country to the World Cup next year.

Predicted Lineups

Georgia (3-4-3):

Loria; Kakabadze, Kashia, Khocholava; Lobzhanidze, Gvilia, Kvekveskiri, Azarovi; Tsitaishvili, Okriashvili, Kvaratskhelia

Sweden (4-4-2):

Olsen; Krafth, Danielsson, Nilsson, Augustinsson; Claesson, K. Olsson, Cajuste, Forsberg; Quaison, Isak

Form Guide

Georgia

In all honesty, looking at the country's most recent five games, and the results in them, it doesn't bode well for a match against statistically the best team in their group when they've lost to all of the teams below them.

Four straight losses to Kosovo, Spain, Bulgaria and Greece do not look good, but a win in their most recent match - 2-1 away in Kosovo - doesn't provide a glimmer go hope in an otherwise dismal outlook.

Sweden

It's virtually the complete opposite for the away side in terms of their form coming into this fixture, with them winning four of their last five fixtures, during the September and October international breaks.

They beat Spain, Uzbekistan, Kosovo and Greece along the way, though there was also a surprising 2-1 loss to the latter team, away in Athens, which put a slight dent in their automatic qualification hopes in this group.

Ones To Watch

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

From Georgia, there's not too many candidates in terms of particularly exciting individual performances, especially based on the last few games they've played in qualification.

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However, I have picked one player out and that's Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, the winger who has scored three goals in the eight appearances he has made for his country.

The 20-year-old only made his debut in 2019, but has looked like one of the country's most promising assets, so keep an eye out for the Rubin Kazan player against Sweden.

Alexander Isak

After his performances that caught many people's eyes in the summer tournament of Euro 2020 earlier this year, the player to watch from the visitors for me is Alexander Isak.

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Still only 22 years of age, the striker has notched a goal nearly every three games for his country, an extremely impressive statistic when you consider the quality of opposition he has gone up against.

Not only that, but he already has five goals this season for his club, Real Sociedad, so there's no doubting that he's fully in-form for this European clash.

Previous Meetings

As it turns out, with Georgia's first ever competitive match coming relatively recently (in football terms, at least) in 1990, there has only ever been one game between these two sides in history.

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That came earlier this year, in the reverse fixture in this World Cup Qualifying Group, as Georgia travelled to Sweden, and to Stockholm to be specific, on match day one of this tournament back in March.

During that game, it was Viktor Claesson of Sweden who got the only goal of the game, as the home team won 1-0 in a tightly-fought affair between the countries.

How To Watch

For those viewers in the UK are who looking to watch this match live on TV when it gets underway at 5:00 PM GMT, Sky Sports Football will be showing live coverage of the game from 4:55 PM GMT on the channel.

The subscription-based channel has the right to all of the European Qualifiers for the World Cup (apart from England's games which are on ITV), so lots of other games can be seen there too.

Otherwise, if you'd prefer to read all about the game with regular commentary and score updates throughout the match, look no further than our live blog right here on VAVEL which will start just over an hour before kick off.

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