Preview: Luxembourg vs. Slovakia – prediction, team news, lineups

Preview: Luxembourg vs. Slovakia – prediction, team news, lineups



Sports Mole previews Monday’s Euro Champ Qualifying clash between Belgium and Sweden, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.


Having just sealed their place at Euro 2024, Group F leaders Belgium celebrate by welcoming Sweden to Brussels on Monday evening.


While the Red Devils are already making plans for next summer’s finals, their Swedish counterparts must win and hope Austria slip up in Azerbaijan.…Click Here To Continue Reading>>

Match preview


© Reuters


Record goalscorer Romelu Lukaku netted what proved to be a vital third goal just before the hour mark on Friday night, as Belgium secured qualification for next year’s European Championship with a 3-2 away win over Austria.

Group F’s top two met in Vienna, each knowing that they would seal a spot at the finals with victory, and the Belgians built on a 12th-minute lead when Dodi Lukebakio scored his second goal shortly after half time, before Lukaku seemed to have put them out of sight.


Austria fought back, though, and Belgium were made to hold on for maximum points after Amadou Onana was shown a second yellow card; nonetheless, the Red Devils now top the table on 16 points with five wins and one draw.


Domenico Tedesco’s side sit some 10 points clear of third-placed Sweden, and since a dismal group-stage exit at the 2022 World Cup, Belgium have won six of their new coach’s first seven matches.


After a ‘golden generation’ lost in the quarter-finals of the last two Euros, Tedesco’s team are aiming to go at least a couple of steps better in neighbouring Germany next summer, but first the formalities of completing their qualification campaign must be completed.


Ahead of next month’s finale at home to Azerbaijan, Belgium reconvene with opponents they summarily swept aside in March, when taking their first stride towards securing a cherished top-two finish.


© Reuters


Desperate for points this week, Sweden simply must turn the result of last spring’s reverse fixture on its head when they arrive in Brussels.

A crushing 3-0 defeat by Belgium on the opening day set the tone for an abject attempt at reaching what would be the Nordic nation’s seventh straight European Championship finals, and Janne Andersson’s men have picked up only six points since.


After losing both home and away to Austria, Sweden will almost certainly have to hope for a playoff place in order to avoid missing out on the Euros for the first time since 1996: if the Austrians win in Baku, they will secure their spot in Group F’s top two.


Indeed, there is no guarantee that the Blagult’s most recent UEFA Nations League campaign will prove sufficient to gain entry into the playoffs, and as things stand they are not one of the teams pencilled in to participate.


Andersson, who led his side to a 3-1 friendly win against Moldova on Thursday, is under serious pressure to salvage such a grim situation, having also seen Sweden miss out on reaching last year’s World Cup.


However, by the time they meet group minnows Estonia and Azerbaijan in November, it may already be too late to turn things around.

Belgium Euro Champ Qualifying form:

Belgium form (all competitions):

Sweden Euro Champ Qualifying form:

Sweden form (all competitions):

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Team News


© Reuters


Perhaps poised to rotate his squad a little after confirming Euro 2024 qualification with two games to spare, Belgium boss Domenico Tedesco’s options have been reduced by a growing list of absentees.


Amadou Onana must serve a suspension following his dismissal on Friday, while fellow Premier League pair Leandro Trossard and Ameen Al-Dakhil both withdrew from the initial squad due to injury; goalkeeper Koen Casteels was sent home due to illness.


Of course, established stars Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois also remain unavailable, and the latter’s absence should see Strasbourg stopper Matz Sels hold off competition from Thomas Kaminski and Arnaud Bodart to start in goal.


Teenage midfielder Arthur Vermeeren made his senior debut from the bench in Vienna and should be involved again; however, it remains to be seen whether Romelu Lukaku will be rested. The Roma loanee is Euro 2024 qualifying’s top scorer with nine goals from six matches, but either Michy Batshuayi or Lens forward Lois Openda may deputise on Monday evening.


Meanwhile, Sweden revert to full strength after an experimental first XI was selected for the friendly against Moldova. Attacking duo Viktor Gyokeres and Dejan Kulusevski are therefore set for recalls, alongside captain Victor Lindelof and Aston Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen.


Isak Hien and Jesper Karlstrom are among several players excluded by Janne Andersson following last month’s loss to Austria, while Newcastle United’s record signing Alexander Isak is missing due to a thigh injury.


After a failed attempt at moving away from the classic Swedish 4-4-2 earlier this year, Andersson has since switched back to such a setup and will surely deploy it again in Belgium.


Belgium possible starting lineup:Sels; Castagne, Faes, Vertonghen, Theate; Tielemans, Mangala, Vermeeren; Lukebakio, Lukaku, Doku


Sweden possible starting lineup:Olsen; Wahlqvist, Lindelof, Lagerbielke, Augustinsson; Kulusevski, Ekdal, K. Olsson, Karlsson; Claesson, Gyokeres

We say: Belgium 1-0 Sweden


As Sweden are missing their star striker and have scored just once in three previous games against Group F’s top two – each of which ended in defeat – their slim hopes of catching Belgium and Austria will be ended. The Blagult cannot compete toe-to-toe with a vibrant Belgian side, but if the hosts make changes after sealing qualification it could be a close-fought encounter. For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data

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