Sweden had to come through the playoffs for the World Cup, but even without the retired Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Swedes ground out a 1-0 aggregate win over the giants of Italy, one of the biggest stories from the qualifiers.
It’s a slightly bizarre Swedish team heading to Russia this summer, with no world class names and the squad playing their football all over Europe. That said, they have been dealt a kind group, and manager Janne Andersson will be targeting a trip to the knockout stages.
If you’re looking for a real task on the World Cup update for FIFA 18, Sweden is a great choice. RealSport gives you all there is to know setting up with Sweden for the tournament.
Sweden receive a four star rating for the World Cup on FIFA 18, and this consists of a 78 attack, 76 midfield and 77 defence.
Sweden’s potential World Cup fixtures
Round of 16
France or Portugal
As we mentioned, it’s a relatively decent group for Sweden. Yes, there is the favourites and defending champions Germany in there, but the contests against South Korea and Mexico will be earmarked as very winnable ties for Sweden.
Should you come through the group, likely in second place, you will face the talented Brazil. On paper, this would be the end of your World Cup campaign, but if you can either finish top of your group or dislodge the Brazilians the draw opens up for you. The clashes in the closing stages will be against the likes of Belgium, France and Spain, who all can be hurt one way or another.
The issue Sweden have is a lack of pace. Therefore, you will not be looking to hurt teams down the flanks, but through the middle. For that reason, we have jigged their 4-4-2 default formation into a 4-2-2-2, with the hope the two attacking midfielders can find space between the lines.
Robin Olsen is in goal, with his back four made up by Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelof, defensive hard man Andreas Granqvist (83 marking) and Ludwig Augustinsson.
In defensive midfield go with Albin Ekdal alongside Jakob Johansson, as Ola Toivonen and star man Emil Forsberg (86 vision) take the attacking midfield roles.
Up front, Jonathan Guidetti partners the reliable Marcus Berg (87 attacking positioning).
On the bench choose Karl-Johan Johnsson, Pontus Jansson, Martin Olsson, Gustav Svensson, Jimmy Durmaz, Sam Larsson and Christoffer Nyman.
At the World Cup, most teams tend to have a talisman. For Argentina it’s Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal, Harry Kane for England, and for Sweden it’s Emil Forsberg. The RB Leipzig man has had a superb couple of seasons in the Bundesliga, and now it’s his chance to bring his talents to the world stage. We are using him in the same position he does for Leipzig to make the most of his talents, and you should be looking to come inside onto his right foot and swing balls into the box (86 crossing).
To maximise Forsberg’s influence on the game, head to the instructions tab and select ‘stay on edge of box for cross’ for support on crosses, and ‘free roam’ for positioning freedom.
There will be freedom of movement between your four midfielders, but it is vital that one does withdraw from the attack to protect the back four. This should be Jakob Johansson, and you should inform him to ‘stay back while attacking’ for attacking support.
With Forsberg coming in from the left, the full back Ludwig Augustinsson will provide the width. For his attacking support instruction, make sure 'always overlap' is selected.
This is all good and well in the must-win fixtures against Mexico and South Korea in Group F, but against Germany and when you reach the knockout stages, something will need to change. The easiest option is to slip into a defensive mentality on the D-pad, or you can rein in your full backs and enforce more discipline in midfield.
No Zlatan, no problem?
You look at that Sweden side, and you feel they would be a completely different animal had Zlatan Ibrahimovic come out of international retirement for the World Cup. Without his presence, and no real pace in the side, it will be very tough to unlock defences with Sweden at the World Cup on FIFA 18. You may need to chance your arm in certain circumstances, with back-up left back Martin Olsson (84 sprint speed) one of the few players with speed in their locker, and throwing the Swansea man on the wing could be an option.
Finding a formula to grind out results is the key. Have a play around in kick-off mode before you start the tournament, practice your crosses, get your pass-and-move game down to a tee before you take on the world. Sweden have a peculiarly strong record at the World Cup, finishing runners up in 1958, and making the semi-finals on three further occasions. The last time they didn’t get out of the group was in 1990, but they have also missed the last two tournaments. Can you keep the legacy going on FIFA 18?
Sweden squad player ratings
|Victor Lindelof||23||CB||Manchester United||79|
|Ludwig Augustinsson||24||LB||Werder Bremen||76|
|Oscar Wendt||32||LB LM||‘Gladbach||75|
|Mikael Lustig||31||RB CB||Celtic||74|
|Niklas Hult||28||LB||AEK Athens||73|
|Sebastian Holmen||26||CB||Dynamo Moscow||73|
|Emil Forsberg||26||CAM LM||RB Leipzig||83|
|Albin Ekdal||28||CM CDM CB||Hamburg||77|
|Jakob Johansson||27||CDM CM||Rennes||76|
|Sam Larsson||25||LM LW||Feyenoord||75|
|Jimmy Durmaz||29||CAM LM RM||Toulouse||75|
|Gustav Svensson||31||CDM CM CB||Seattle Sounders||74|
|Sebastian Larsson||32||CM RM||Hull||73|
|Viktor Claesson||26||CAM LM CM RM||Krasnodar||73|
|Oscar Hiljemark||25||CM CDM||Genoa||73|
|Oscar Lewicki||25||CDM CM||Malmo||72|
|Alexander Fransson||24||CDM CM CAM||Lausanne||72|
|Marcus Rohden||27||RM CM||Crotone||71|
|Marcus Berg||31||ST CF||Al Ain||81|
|Ola Toivonen||31||ST CF CAM||Toulouse||77|
|Isaac Kiese Thelin||25||ST||Waasland-Beveren||71|
|Samuel Armenteros||28||ST||Portland Timbers||71|
|Emir Kujovic||29||ST||Fortuna Dusseldorf||69|