LIVE – Spain vs Sweden: Luis Enrique’s new-look team aiming for winning start against in-form Swedes in sweltering Seville as they bid for a record fourth European Championship
- Spain kick-off their Euro 2020 campaign against Sweden in Seville this evening
- Luis Enrique’s team will be targeting top spot in a bid for a fourth Euros trophy
- Sweden are in fine form and had also finished second behind Spain in qualifying
- Euro 2020 complete squad lists: Every player at the tournament
- Euro 2020 complete TV schedule, fixtures and updated results
- Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here.
Three-time European Championship winners Spain begin their quest for yet another title this evening when they take on Sweden in Group E.
Luis Enrique stirred controversy before the tournament after leaving out every Real Madrid player from his squad – but his new-look team will now be focused on securing the perfect start against a stubborn opponent.
Sweden, who are without talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic due to a serious injury, have won their last five fixtures and will also be aiming to progress. A shock result in Seville would put them in a brilliant position.
Sportsmail‘s DANIEL DAVIS will provide live Euro 2020 text coverage of Spain vs Sweden – including the scoreline, line-ups and result.
There can be no denying that the loss of Zlatan Ibrahimovic has hit Sweden hard – but it’s absolutely not all doom and gloom for them.
That’s because they can also rely on the talent of the supremely-gifted Alexander Isak, who starts up top next to Marcus Berg.
Both players will need to be in top form to trouble Spain’s backline tonight, but I’m expecting them to pose a few problems.
Isak gave a little wave to the supporters in the ground after stepping out to warm up earlier.
Despite having largely emerged unscathed from it, Spain have been affected by a small coronavirus issue.
That meant training alone, eating alone and facing nervous waits after tests for the players, in an experience that can’t have been easy.
Midfielder Rodri spoke to Sportsmail’s PETE JENSON about the situation last week and admitted he is ‘relieved’ to be able to play.
Read his full comments below…
Another name in that Spain team worth watching out for is centre back Aymeric Laporte.
Laporte, who plays for Manchester City at club level, chose to changes nationalities and commit himself to La Roja.
He was formerly of France, but failed to make a single senior international appearance. The mind boggles at that one.
This will be his first tournament with Spain, and he is straight in the firing line tonight.
The atmosphere is building nicely over in Spain ahead of this clash.
It is HOT in Seville, with the temperature currently at 32°C.
That’s a tough ask for the players, so we’ll see how that affects the game when it gets underway.
Supporters of both nations have mingled in the stands, too, which is always lovely to see.
It does very much look like Luis Enrique has opted for the good of the system rather than cramming every star man into his team.
Gerard Moreno and Jose Gaya are perhaps a little unfortunate to miss out, but the line-up comes as little surprise.
Jordi Alba now sports the captain’s armband with Sergio Busquets out.
All eyes are on Ferran Torres, meanwhile, who will be expected to impress down the right.
Starting XI: Olsen, Lustig, Lindelof, Danielson, Augustinsson, Larsson, Olsson, Ekdal, Forsberg, Berg, Isak
Substitutes: Bengtsson, Johnsson, Svensson, Helander, Sema, Krafth, Claesson, Jansson, Quaison, Nordfeldt, Larrson, Cajuste
Starting XI: Simon, M. Llorente, Torres, Laporte, Alba, Rodri, Koke, Pedri, Torres, Morata, Olmo
Substitutes: de Gea, Azpilicueta, D. Llorente, Moreno, Alcantara, Garcia, Sanchez, Gaya, Ruiz, Traore, Oyarzabal, Sarabia
Sweden have also been dogged by a couple of Covid-enforced changes this evening.
Juventus’ Dejan Kulusevski and Mattias Svanberg both tested positive, but are back with the squad. They won’t feature tonight.
Of course, there is also no Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Sweden at the tournament. He sustained ligament damage in May and has been ruled out.
The full team news for both countries is expected very shortly.
It’s been an absolute nightmare for Spain in recent weeks, starting with midfielder and captain Sergio Busquets testing positive for Covid-19.
Diego Llorente also returned a positive test, and the rest of the squad were then forced to isolate and train individually for a bit.
All of the chaos led to an U21 team playing in Spain’s final warm-up game against Lithuania, as part of a parallel bio-secure bubble.
This was done so that players would be able to be called up should Spain be hit by any more absentees.
Spain have won the European Championship three times- in 1964, 2008 and 2012 – and will hope they can pick up number four this year.
They’re certainly not the favourites for the trophy, but you can never write them off in a major tournament. Their pedigree makes that very, very silly.
Do you fancy them to take home that crown? Let us know!
Luis Enrique has certainly been blessed with a strong squad, but the preparations for the tournament have been far from perfect for them.
More on that shortly…
Hello, all! The football just keeps on coming, doesn’t it? What a summer we have in store.
First up, though, we have coverage of the final Euro 2020 game tonight – and it’s Spain vs Sweden.
This should be another good one. Spain caused a stir heading into the tournament after dropping every Real Madrid player, but are still a force.
They are undoubtedly also the favourites to top Group E, and their quest starts now against a Sweden team who are bang in form.
Kick off is at 8pm, and we’ll bring you all the build-up and team news over the next couple of hours! Let’s get started…
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