Simon Bank

Dear England, you’ve got it in the bag!

Sportbladet’s Simon Bank introduces Sweden’s starting eleven


GELENDZJIK.’Tis best to weigh the enemy more mighty than he seems.

Well, our dear English friends, that is of course something you already know. Arrogance and underestimation have cost your footballers dearly over the years, and we certainly don’t expect that to happen again any time soon.

From the country that gave you Sven-Göran, Abba and 30 yard bicycle kicks:

This is our humble way of introducing Sweden’s starting eleven, while wishing you all the best for the semifinal and final.

You’ve got it in the bag.

Below you’ll find a guide to Sweden’s predicted started XI on Saturday.

Robin Olsen

Age: 28 Position: GK Club: FC Copenhagen.
Well, he’s tall and blond and all that. And half Danish. But a more thorough look into his cv will tell you that he’s literally a sh*t Jamie Vardy. Some eight years ago, at the age of 20, he played fifth division football with a club called Bunkeflo.

Mikael Lustig

Age: 31 Position: RB Club: Celtic
Lustig means ”funny” in swedish. And we’re not even having a laugh.

Oh, right, with Mr Funny suspended  we will rely on Emil Krafth (Krafth being Swedish for 'Power'), who normally spends his time on the bench in Bologna.

Victor Nilsson Lindelöf

Age: 23 Position: CB Club: Manchester United
”Right now, he is the worst player in the world” (José Mourinho, 2017)

Andreas Granqvist

Age: 33 Position: CB Club: Helsingborgs IF
Leader of men, captain, goal getter, the man who carries the hopes of a nation. Oh, and he’s about to join a new club right after the World Cup. Helsingborg. A proper top club. In Superettan, the second highest league in Sweden.

Ludwig Augustinsson

Age: 24 Position: LB Club: Werder Bremen
England made it to the last four with Gazza running the show. Augustinsson has never drunk a drop of alcohol in his life.

Viktor Claesson

Age: 26 Position: RM Club: FK Krasnodar
Remember Granqvist? That ageing Swedish-second-division-skipper? Viktor Claesson has been looming a bit in his shadow lately, being the second most important Swede in mighty Krasnodar. Was part of the generation who became European champions in 2015 (but, oh, didn’t make the squad).

Albin Ekdal

Age: 28 Position: CM Club: Hamburg SV
Quite possibly the most injury prone player in Bundesliga history. Still, he wrote history with Hamburg last season. By being part of the team that got them relegated for the first time ever.

Sebastian Larsson

Age: 33 Position: CM Club: AIK
Back in the early 2000s a young Swedish midfielder set the world on fire in Arsenal, with his fashionable haircut and his clinical finishing. This was not him.
Seb has spent his career trying to keep Alex McLeish, Sam Allardyce, David Moyes and Martin O’Neill in the Premiership. Our apologies.

Emil Forsberg

Age: 26 Position: LM Club: RB Leipzig

Widely rated as our most important attacking player. Born into a family of elite footballers, his grandfather was nicknamed ”Foppa”, his dad was consequently called ”Lill-Foppa” (”Small Foppa”), which means poor Emil had to settle for ”Mini-Foppa”. Yes, our attacks revolve around ”Mini-Foppa”.

Marcus Berg

Age: 31 Position: F Club: Al Ain
Annual top scorer Berg has one million shots and zero goals to his tally this far in the World Cup. Failed to score as his club got eliminated in the 8th finals of the Champions League last season, losing 8–3 on aggregate. The Asian Champions League, that is.

Ola Toivonen

Age: 32 Position: F Club: Toulouse
Well, there’s the French league. It’s quite decent. Then there are clubs – like Toulouse – that have to struggle to stay up in the French League. And then there’s a striker who couldn’t make the starting eleven of that struggling team to save his life.
Meet Ola Toivonen.

Gaffer: Janne Andersson.

Loves his family, his dog, long walks, watching the Big Bang Theory sitcom. And sausages.


Se alla Champions League-matcher på C More. Beställ här

C More

  • LÄS MER: ALL superläsning från VM – bara för dig med
  • LÄS MER: Stor guide till VM – lag för lag
  • LÄS MER: Alla artiklar om fotbolls-VM
  • LÄS MER: VM i tv – så sänds matcherna
  • LÄS MER: Alla trupper – spelare för spelare
  • LÄS MER: Resultat i fotbolls-VM – live och tabeller


Simon Bank



Från utdömda och ratade till nationens hjältar

Sportbladet – Allsvenskan

Prenumerera på vårt nyhetsbrev om Allsvenskan – krönikor, reportage, intervjuer, granskningar och rankningar.

Ja, tack!


Fotbolls-VM 2018 i Ryssland


Herrlandslaget i fotboll

Helsingborgs IF