Our football match prediction:
Friends Arena in Solna will host the match between Sweden and Bulgaria. The Swedes showed character in Friday’s qualifier against Luxembourg and thanks to Mikael Lustig’s late goal the team recorded their first win in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Janne Andersson’s troops welcome Bulgaria at Friends Arena on Monday evening and seeing that Petar Hubchev’s men have already conceded seven goals in the process, home win appears on the horizon. The Bulgarians experienced all sorts of problems at the back in a 4-1 loss to France on Friday evening and they are unlikely to spoil Sweden’s party in Solna. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is no longer part of the Swedish national team, but we predict that the likes of John Guidetti and Marcus Berg are going to help the hosts emerge triumphant in their third group game. In their last meeting in a competitive match Sweden hammered Bulgaria 3-0.
Highlighted Player (Mikael Lustig):
Long-serving Celtic soldier Michael Lustig has been with The Bhoys since 2012. The Swedish international has made more than 140 appearances for the Scottish club. The experienced 29-year-old defender is also a full international for Sweden since 2008 and a member of his country’s team that has participated at the 2016 European Championship finals in France. Internationally experienced defender also took part at Euro 2012 and his vast experience is of crucial importance for Celtic. Lustig began his career at Umea FC and had also played for GIF Sundsvall and Rosenborg BK before his move to Scotland. Mikael Lusting has endured mixed fortunes throughout his four-year career with Celtic, predominantly due to various injury spells that kept him out of play. First choice for Celtic manager(s) whenever he is fully fit, the Swedish defender is praised for his hard work, stamina and physical ability, despite his most recent struggles with muscle injuries.
Highlighted Team (Sweden):
Sweden are the most successful Nordic side on international stage having been present at major competitions since 1934. Blagult missed out on the 1952 World Cup trophy on home soil as they were beaten by star-studded Brazil side, while they finished in third place at the 1950 and 1994 tournaments, and finishing fourth on their second appearance in 1938. As far as their European Championship record is concerned, Sweden also achieved their best result in front of home fans, reaching the last four in 1992, and they have since reached the quarter-finals at Euro 1994 in Portugal. Anders Svensson and Thomas Ravelli are team’s most capped players with over 140 appearances each, but it is strikers Henrik Larsson and Zlatan Ibrahimovic that will go down as the most famous Swedish footballers in history. The later also leads the goalscoring charts with over 60 strikes for the national team and he is widely regarded as one of the most colourful characters, not only in Scandinavia, but in world football.