BRATISLAVA (VG) Sander Sagosen is a notch above Jim Gottfridsson. Norway are favorites in the fateful match against Sweden – due to better backs and greater speed in the counterattacks.
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ANALYSIS: Norway beat Sweden at their own home arena in Malmö two years ago and has won the last six meetings since 2017. The Swedes have despite large coronaproblemer delivered well in the European Championships. The favorite stamp is Norwegian when the two neighbors meet for a decisive match in Ondrej Nepela Arena on Tuesday at 20.30.
These are the prerequisites for the match:
- In the event of a victory, Norway is the group winner and ready for the semi-finals.
- In the event of a draw, Norway is also further, but then as number two in the group.
- In the event of a loss, Norway will not advance to the semi-finals.
Here is VG’s assessment of the teams:
Norway: Torbjørn Bergerud started the European Championships by getting a shot in the head. Has not found the absolute top level after that, despite 31 in save percentage, but has delivered a strong season in Denmark and should have his best European Championship matches ahead of him. Kristian Sæverås came in and helped secure the victory against Spain. Has been about as good as Bergerud in the European Championships. Together they form a strong duo.
Sweden: Terribly unfortunate for the Swedes that their goalkeeper star Andreas Palicka disappeared with the corona on Monday. He is an international top goalkeeper who will be missed. Tobias Thulin delivered a very strong match when Sweden only conceded 18 goals against Poland in the main round. Can certainly create trouble for Norway. Peter Johannesson has also delivered well when he has had the chance in the European Championships.
Norway: Has struggled to find the structure of the defensive game with some new principles. but Norway has adjusted masterfully. The defensive game against Spain was of the highest class with Magnus Gullerud, Petter Øverby and Vetle Eck Aga as captains. Aggressive and effective. The Swedish attacking game will be challenged if Norway delivers the same on Tuesday.
Sweden: By far the best part of the Swedes’ game. Has even with defense chief Max Darj out delivered defensive play of excellent class. Oscar Bergendahl and Fredric Pettersson have taken a heavy grip on the central defense in the relatively defensive defense according to the traditional Swedish model. The Swedes have raised the defensive many notches since 32 backwards against Spain in the European Championship opening.
COUNTRIES / RETURNS
Norway: Norway struggled with the pace in the European Championship start. Only six pure counterattacks in the group stage do not look like the handball guys. But in Bratislava, the speed has come too full with the wingers Sebastian Barthold and Kristian Bjørnsen in front. Harald Reinkind comes in the second wave and in this phase is almost impossible to stop when he comes in a pure duel man against man.
Sweden: Glenn Solberg wants to take advantage of the team’s good defensive play in simple goals in counterattacks. But here Sweden does not succeed completely. Has super fast Hampus Wanne on the left edge, but struggles both to get the first wave up fast enough and does not push hard enough after with the back players. But Sweden is fast back and would like to counter better as well.
Norway: Norway struggled with rhythm and flow in the Russia loss initially. Gradually it has loosened. Sander Sagosen varies, but is excellent at his best. The big surprise is that he is replaced by Erik Toft with a furiously effective shot. Sander Øverjordet has also strengthened a number of full-backs where Reinkind also delivers at a high level.
Sweden: Jim Gottfridsson is a strong international player, but does not have the same top level as Sander Sagosen. The Felix Claar alternative has disappeared with the corona. A clear minus for Sweden. Well occupied on the right with Lukas Sandell and Albin Lagergren. Jonathan Carlsbogaard has not been dominant at left back and the alternative – Elverum’s Eric Johansson – is varied.
Norway: Here Magnus Gullerud does a strong job of breaking the opponent’s defense and scored 11 goals so far. Thomas Solstad a strong alternative, but affected by illness. The third line player, Petter Øverby, has had little time in attack.
Sweden: Sweden no longer has Andreas Nilsson’s weight on the line. In recent matches, Oscar Bergendahl has done a good job with the right moves. Was named Sweden’s best player when Germany was beaten. The options are not many.
Norway: Sebastian Barthold has had his big breakthrough on the national team. Is very effective on both counterattacks and edge shots and also puts in almost all penalties. Kristian Bjørnsen has got a fresh start in Aalborg and has delivered well on the right wing. Here, Kevin Gulliksen is a very good alternative that has been little used.
Sweden: Left wing Hampus Wanne is Sweden’s very best about most effective players. Perhaps the world’s best wing right now. The Flensburg edge referred Magnus Jøndal to the bench last year. Sweden suffers from the fact that veteran Niklas Ekberg is out due to a positive coronate test on the opposite edge.
Norway: Christian Berge had a difficult 2021. But in pairs with the new assistant, Jonas Wille, has met a lot in the World Cup. Has had success in rolling more on playing time and has brought in more players to share the responsibility with the dominant Sander Sagosen. Mood and guts characterize the Norwegian team now.
Sweden: Glenn Solberg manages Sweden safely and well. Has good communication with the players and manages based on known Swedish principles in the game. Made success with World Cup sleep and 5th place in the Olympics in his first year with the Swedes. Now he has lifted a team with corona problems very well in the European Championships.