Netherlands vs Sweden Preview: Blågult all but confirmed a play-off place with Oranje needing seven

Netherlands face Sweden on Tuesday night with a play-off place ahead of the 2018 World Cup all but confirmed for Janne Andersson's side - provided the hosts don't win by seven goals.

Netherlands vs Sweden Preview: Blågult all but confirmed a play-off place with Oranje needing seven
Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist speaks to the press ahead of Tuesday's game. (Photo: Nils Petter Nilsson / Getty Images)

Sweden travel to Netherlands to face Dick Advocaat's side on Tuesday evening in the final game of World Cup Qualifying, with the hosts needing to win by seven goals to secure a play-off place.

Sweden meanwhile could still finish top of Group A - although that would mean France dropping points at home to Belarus which is unlikely given that they have accumulated just five points across nine games so far.

Oranje require a miracle to secure qualification

It would certainly be one of World Cup Qualifying's great shocks if Netherlands were to secure a play-off place on Tuesday night, with Advocaat's side needing to win by at least seven goals to do so.

The Oranje boss tempted fate somewhat prior to Sweden's 8-0 thrashing of Luxembourg last Saturday, saying "they won’t win 8-0" when questioned on the possibility of such a scoreline by a reporter, going on to denounce the query as "a stupid question".

Eight goals later and Netherlands are all but out of contention for the 2018 World Cup, leaving Sweden in second with a three point and 12 goal difference advantage over them.

If they are to have a go at overturning the seven-goal deficit, wingers Arjen Robben and Memphis Depay will be their primary source of goals with the two on four and three respectively so far in qualifying.

Advocaat's men have won three and lost two of their last five qualifiers, with a 4-0 thumping at the hands of France one of the games that saw their goal difference drop so far behind Sweden's, while the reverse of this fixture last September ended 1-1 with Wesley Sneijder equalising after Marcus Berg put the Swedes in front.

 

Swedes gunning for top spot - although they rely on a French slip-up

Sweden are in with a chance of automatic qualification on Tuesday evening, but that relies on France dropping points at home to lowly Belarus coupled with themselves getting a result against Netherlands.

If France were to suffer a shock defeat against Belarus then a draw would be all Sweden need to top the group, but a draw for France would leave Sweden needing a win to secure automatic qualification.

Janne Andersson's side have won four of their last five games in qualifying, including a 2-1 win over France in June, with the defeat a 3-2 scoreline away to Bulgaria in August.

Top scorer Berg made it eight goals from eight games in qualfying after he netted four goals in the 8-0 demolition of Luxembourg on Saturday, while RB Leipzig midfielder Emil Forsberg is Sweden's second top scorer with four goals.

Team news

The hosts are without attacking trio Quincy Promes, Robin van Persie and Sneijder for Tuesday's crunch match while Sweden right-back Mikael Lustig is out after going off injured against Luxembourg on Saturday.

Predicted line-ups

Netherlands (4-3-3): Cillessen; Blind, Hoedt, Van Dijk, Janmaat; Wijnaldum, Propper, Vilhena; Babel, Janssen, Robben.

Sweden (4-4-2): Olsen; Augustinsson, Lindelof, Granqvist, Krafth; Claesson, Larsson, Johansson, Forsberg; Toivonen, Berg.

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