Sweden vs Belgium Preview: Can Zlatan inspire Sweden to a victory over Belgium?

Match preview as Sweden go head to head with Belgium in their final crucial match in Group E as both look to qualify for the last 16.

Sweden vs Belgium Preview: Can Zlatan inspire Sweden to a victory over Belgium?
Photo: Harry Robinson/VAVEL UK

The final round of fixtures in Group E in the 2016 European Championship gets underway on Wednesday evening with Sweden facing Belgium in Nice.

Sweden head into the game on one point from two games and need a win to give themselves any chance of qualifying for the last 16.

On the other hand, Belgium also need to win the game as they head into the game with three points from two games and will want to cement the second spot in the group.

Previous Games

Sweden began their campaign against the Republic of Ireland and were held to a 1-1 draw which wasn't a bad result due to how they performed during the game. The Irish were much the better side, but Ciaran Clark's own goal gave Sweden a valuable point. 

In their second game, they came up against Italy and they performed much better, but it wasn't enough as they lost the game 1-0 after Eder scored a late winner for the Italians. 

Belgium began their campaign against Italy and were totally outclassed as they lost the game 2-0 with goals coming from Emanuele Giaccherini and Graziano Pelle.

The defeat in their first game meant that Belgium had to respond in their second game against the Republic of Ireland and they did this perfectly - winning the game 3-0. Romelu Lukaku scored two goals while Axel Witzel scored the other as Belgium got themselves up and running.

Team News

Marc Wilmots could be without Moussa Dembele and Yannick Ferreira Carrasco who are doubts for the game and will undergo late fitness tests to see if they can play in the game. The good news, though, is that Eden Hazard is expected to play after overcoming a thumb injury. It will be interesting to see what Wilmot's does with Thomas Vermaelen and Jan Vertonghen as both are booking away from a suspension

On the other hand, Erik Hamren knows that anything other than a win and his side are out so he could make a few changes to his starting line-up for the game. Mikael Lustig is out after he went off against Italy with a groin injury. Erik Johansson is expected to replace Lustig and will want to make sure he does well.

Belgium were back to their best against the Republic of Ireland | Photo: Getty
Belgium were back to their best against the Republic of Ireland | Photo: Getty

Key Players

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the main man for Sweden but has so far failed to deliver in the previous two games. Before the game with Belgium, Ibrahimovic revealed that after the Euros he will be retiring from International football. That means this could be Ibrahimovic's last game in a Sweden shirt so he will be looking to do something special during the match to round off what has been a superb career in the international game.

Will this be the last game for Zlatan in a Sweden shirt? | Photo: Getty
Will this be the last game for Zlatan in a Sweden shirt? | Photo: Getty

Belgium have a very talented squad with many good players but their main man is Kevin De Bruyne. De Bruyne - when he was needed in the last game against the Republic of Ireland - showed his class by assisting a couple of the goals. Everything good that Belgium produce comes through him so the team will be hoping that De Bruyne can keep up his good form to make sure they get out of the group.

Likely Sweden line-up: Isaksson; Lindelof, Johansson, Granqvist, Martin; Larson, Ekdal, Kallstrom, Forsberg; Guidetti, Ibrahimovic.

Likely Belgium line-up: Courtois; Meunier, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Witsel, Dembele; Mertens, De Bruyne, Hazard; Lukaku.