Jubilant Sweden aims to reach their first semifinals since 2013 and ninth in history but Belgium stands in their way making their first ever appearance at the quarterfinal stage of the competition.
The Swedes found their mojo in the final group game by collecting a huge 5-0 win against Portugal whereas Belgium upset all odds in beating Italy to advance to the next round.
SWE vs BEL Match Details
Date: Friday, 22nd July 2022/ Saturday, 23rd July 2022
Time: 20:00 (BST) /00:30 (IST)
Venue: Leigh Sports Village, Manchester
SWE vs BEL Match Preview
Sweden had to wait until the last group game to make their qualification to the quarterfinals absolute certainty and they performed their job in style. Portugal had no solution to stop Kosovare Asllani using her mesmeric dribbling down the right to leave the back four stunned in the 5-0 defeat. The forward, playing in a more attacking midfield role in the game, collected two assists from set pieces and score a goal from the spot to crown yet another empathic display in the tournament. Asllani has now contributed to four goals for her team in the tournament so far. Angeldal twice and later Stina Blackstenius add to the tally with the other an own goal by Portuguese defender Carole Costa. Sweden enjoyed a performance likeable to them after struggling to be themselves in the group stages although the opening draw against the Netherlands and a late winner against Switzerland put them through eventually even if unconvincingly. The result in the last game though is welcoming for coach Peter Gerhardsson as a win of that margin with the first clean sheet of the tournament was against an opposition that troubled defences of higher ranked teams. A similar kind of challenge awaits them in the quarterfinals with Belgium knocking on them. Gerhardsson feels the momentum showed in the last game will carry them in the remainder of the contest with the progression to the last four where they only missed out twice in the competition history. However, they shouldn’t get too ahead of themselves in the knockout period of the tournament.
Sealing a first-ever qualification to the quarterfinals in the final group game by restricting Italy was more than special for this Belgium side. The group stage period couldn’t have been more difficult for them with a 1-1 unconvincing draw against Iceland and then a 2-1 defeat to table toppers France leaving them all to do in the final group game. One thing which the Red Flames carried is a matter of true intent in their performance that ultimately yielded the decisive result in the last group game. Midfielder Tine De Caigny struck at the 50th-minute mark for the only goal of the game and with Iceland drawing France in the other game, there was no stopping them from advancing. Wield celebrations broke out after the final whistle for a job well done. Certainly a better one than their group stage exit in their debut campaign in 2017. It is obvious Belgium will carry the joy in the quarters but facing a team ranked second in the world are a different threat altogether. However, as proved by their vigour, Belgium can cause trouble to the top sides. Stopping Sweden will be incredible when the Blue and Yellow Army are one of the top candidates to lift the trophy at the end. The Red Flames are feeling the pressure before the clash knowing they already achieved a lot but picking up another win here will be no sort of a magnificent story to script in their women’s football history.
SWE vs BEL Team News
Sweden will be two defenders short ahead of facing Belgium after Hanna Glas and Emma Hulberg tested positive for Covid-19. While Hulberg is yet to feature in the tournament, Glas has been crucial from the right-back spot for her nation and has started every game in the group stages. Everton’s Nathalie Bjorn will shift from her midfield job to fill the role in Glas’s absence opening the door for her club mate 19-year-old Hanna Bennison, who scored a stunning winner against Switzerland in the second game of the tournament, to start in this clash. Man City’s Fillippa Angeldal should retain her spot in the starting line-up after scoring a brace in the 5-0 thrashing of Portugal in the final group game. Captain Caroline Seger didn’t feature in the win and will also miss the quarterfinals through an injury.
There are no concerns in the Belgium camp as they have everyone available with defender Amber Tysiak returning from a one-match suspension. Coach Ives Serneels is unlikely to make any changes from their win against Italy which means 19-year-old Hannah Eurlings will start upfront for the second game running.
SWE vs BEL Predicted Lineups
SWD: Hedvig Lindahl; Nathalie Bjorn, Amanda Ilestedt, Magdalena Eriksson, Jonna Andersson; Filippa Angeldal, Kosovare Asllani, Hanna Bennison; Johanna Kaneryd, Stina Blackstenius, Fridolina Rolfo
BEL: Nicky Evrard; Jody Vangheluwe, Sari Kees, Julie Biesmans, Davina Philtjens; Janice Cayman, Justine Monique Vanhaevermaet, Tine de Caigny; Elena Dhont, Hannah Eurlings, Tessa Wullaert
SWE vs BEL Head to Head
These two haven’t meet each other in any contest since 2009 and only twice in overall history. On both occasions, Sweden have come out on top with a 2-1 and a 4-1 win in the latest one. This is a first ever meeting in major tournament finals.
SWE vs BEL Dream11 Team Prediction
GK: Evrard (8.5)
DEF: Bjorn (8.5), Kees (9), Eriksson (8.5), Andersson (9)
MID: Vanhaevermaet (9.5), Asllani (9.5), Caigny (9)
FW: Cayman (9), Wullaert (9), Rolfo (9.5)
Nicky Evrard produced a player of the match performance with six saves against Italy in the 1-0 win to help Belgium’s advancement to the quarterfinals. She kept an 83.3% save percentage and has prevented more goals than any goalkeepers in the tournament.
Sari Kees ranked third in most clearances per 90 in the group stages with an average of 7.3 an average of 22 clearances she made. The Belgian also made five blocks with an average of 1.7 per 90.
Kosovare Asllani is joint second most goal contributor at the tournament and her three assists is equal best at the tournament with England’s Fran Kirby.