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Nov 11, 2021 at 5pm UK
GeorgiaGeorgia
2-0
SwedenSweden
Kvaratskhelia (61', 78')
Okriashvili (52'), Azarovi (55'), Kashia (90+2')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Nilsson (65')

Preview: Georgia vs. Sweden - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Georgia vs. Sweden - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's World Cup Qualifying - Europe clash between Georgia and Sweden, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Sweden will aim to cement their position at the top of the rankings in World Cup 2022 Qualifying Group B when they take on Georgia on Thursday night.

The Scandinavian powerhouses marched to a 2-0 success over Greece last time out, while their hosts are only playing for pride after an early elimination.


Match preview

Despite prevailing against Kosovo by two goals to one on matchday seven, it is far too little too late for Georgia to salvage anything but a sense of pride, with that win representing their first of World Cup 2022 Qualifying following a troubled campaign.

Tornike Okriashvili and Zuriko Davitashvili both netted either side of Vedat Muriqi's penalty to hand Georgia all three points in that basement battle, but that win will prove inconsequential for Willy Sagnol's men in the grand scheme of things.

This week's hosts had suffered five defeats from six in Group B before sinking Kosovo and occupy fourth spot in the group as a result - as well as boasting four points and four goals at this stage - and qualification cannot end soon enough for the world's 93rd-ranked nation.

Sagnol's side will now simply seek the consolation prize of not finishing dead last in the group, with Kosovo - who are only behind on goal difference - set to take on Greece at the weekend, but the hosts have suffered three defeats from three at home in World Cup Qualifying so far.

Still managing to hold off the threat of Spain, Sweden's World Cup 2022 destiny is firmly in their own hands, with Janne Andersson's side aiming to qualify for their second World Cup on the bounce as group winners following a solid campaign.

A surprise 2-1 defeat to Greece is the only blot on the notebook for Sweden, who have prevailed in their other five Qualifying encounters and gleaned revenge over John Van 't Schip's side last time out, as Emil Forsberg and Alexander Isak struck in a comfortable 2-0 success.

Andersson's side currently hold a two-point lead over second-placed Spain at the summit and could confirm their first-placed finish should La Roja post an underwhelming result against Greece this week, but a win for both sides would make Sunday's top-of-the-table clash a pivotal battle.

Rather worryingly, Sweden have suffered five defeats from their last six away games in all tournaments - although Portugal and France have been among their opponents during that miserable streak - and a Viktor Claesson winner propelled them to a 1-0 success over Georgia back in March.

Georgia World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W

Georgia form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W

Sweden World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Sweden form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Georgia left-back Guram Giorbelidze picked up his second booking of Qualifying against Kosovo and will serve a suspension here, while Lasha Dvali is also banned for the same reason.

Nineteen-year-old Irakli Azarovi ought to feature at left-wing back with Giorbelidze suspended, while Dvali's spot in the heart of defence could be filled by FC Copenhagen's Davit Khocholava.

Sagnol should otherwise keep changes to a minimum following his side's first win, with Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur-linked Khvicha Kvaratskhelia once again starting in attack.

Meanwhile, Sweden attacker Ken Sema has been forced to pull out of the squad due to injury, and Albin Ekdal will sit out this clash due to an accumulation of bookings.

Bologna's Mattias Svanberg is the most likely candidate to fill in alongside Kristoffer Olsson, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic has made the cut but will certainly not start twice in quick succession.

Andersson will certainly be tempted to keep some of his big-hitters in reserve for the meeting with Spain, with Isak and Victor Lindelof also among those who may be spared.

Georgia possible starting lineup:
Loria; Kakabadze, Khocholava, Kashia; Lobjanidze, Gvilia, Kvekveskiri, Azarovi; Tsitaishvili, Okriashvili, Kvaratskhelia

Sweden possible starting lineup:
Olsen; Krafth, Nilsson, Milosevic, Augustinsson; Kulusevski, K. Olsson, Svanberg, Forsberg; Quaison, Gyokeres


We say: Georgia 0-2 Sweden

With Sweden unlikely to name a full-strength XI as Andersson eyes the crunch match with Spain, Georgia may sense an opportunity to post back-to-back wins here.

However, Sagnol's side have been swept aside on home soil so far, and Sweden possess the necessary squad depth to march to a comfortable win and hold their place at the summit.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data



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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Chelsea118212742326
2Manchester CityMan City117222261623
3West Ham UnitedWest Ham1172223131023
4Liverpool1164131112022
5Arsenal116231313020
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7Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton114521212017
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves115151112-116
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs11515916-716
10Crystal Palace113621514115
11Everton114341616015
12Leicester CityLeicester114341618-215
13Southampton113531012-214
14Brentford113351314-112
15Leeds UnitedLeeds112541118-711
16Aston Villa113171420-610
17Watford113171219-710
18Burnley111551117-68
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle110561224-125
20Norwich CityNorwich11128526-215
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