Germany’s women’s national team will face Sweden on Saturday (18:30 CEST). At stake is not just a spot in the semifinal of the World Cup in France, but also the Olympics. The three best European teams will qualify for the 2020 Tokyo games. Germany’s record against Tre Kronor is overwhelmingly positive. DFB.de has all the facts ahead of the quarterfinal match in Rennes.
Head-to-head: Germany have won 20 of their last 28 matches against Sweden, while the Swedes have won seven, with just one scoreless draw between the two. Germany have only failed to score against Tre Kronor once, in their very first meeting in the third place match at the World Cup in November 1991 where Germany lost 4-0. It remains their highest ever defeat against Sweden.
Favourite opponent: This is the fifth time the two sides are meeting at a World Cup. The Scandinavians won the first two duels in 1991 (4-0) and 1995 (3-2). Germany were successful in their two most recent duels in 2003 (2-1) and 2015 (4-1). The two sides met in a friendly before the World Cup this April in Solna. Germany won that match by a score of 2-1 thanks to goals from Kathrin Hendrich (51’) and Linda Dallmann (65’), with Sweden’s captain Caroline Seger scoring from the spot (72’). Germany and Sweden have met 14 times across all international competitions (Euros, World Cups and Olympics), with Germany winning 11, Sweden winning two, and just two draws. Across their last 11 meetings at these tournaments, Germany are undefeated and have won 10 times, with a 0-0 draw in their most recent meeting in the group stage at the 2017 Euros. Germany last defeat to Sweden at a major tournament was a 3-2 loss at the 1995 World Cup.
Playing to zero: After 1-0 wins against both China and Spain and a 4-0 victory over Spain, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side celebrated their fourth clean sheet at the World Cup after their 3-0 win against Nigeria in the round of 16. The last time Germany had a similar streak was during the World Cup in 2007, where they kept a clean sheet across six matches on their way to winning the title. Germany are the sole team at the World Cup who have yet to concede a goal.
Consistently amongst the top eight: With the win against Nigeria, Germany ensured their presence in every World Cup quarterfinal since the tournament made its debut in 1991. The USA is the sole other country to achieve the same feat.
Undefeated in their last 16: Germany are undefeated in their last 16 international matches since a 3-0 loss to France on 7th March 2018 (14 wins and two draws). Their longest undefeated streak came between July 2013 and September 2014, where they went 18 matches without losing. Germany have scored at least one goal in 15 of their last 16 matches—they only failed to score in a 0-0 draw with Spain in November 2018. Germany have kept a clean sheet in their last five matches. Across official matches, Germany have kept a clean sheet in nine consecutive matches—the last time they achieved this was between May 2007 and August 2008 (16 consecutive matches without allowing a goal).
Return: Germany have already played one match in Rennes at this World Cup. In their opening match of the group stage, a goal from Giulia Gwinn served for a 1-0 win against China. Sweden also opened their World Cup in Roazhon Park. Their match against first-time participants Chile was interrupted in the 72 minute for 40 minutes due to strong rain, before Kosovare Asllani (83’) and Madelen Janogy (90’ +4) secured a 2-0 win.
The opponent: Sweden are currently ranked ninth (1,962 points) in the FIFA world rankings and are seven spots and 110 points behind the second-ranked Germans (2,072 points). This year marks Sweden’s eighth time taking part in the World Cup, making them one of seven teams (including Germany) that have taken part in all eight Women’s World Cups. Sweden qualified for the tournament after finishing first in qualification group 4 with 21 out of a possible 24 points, ahead of Denmark (16 points). The sole loss came in a 1-0 defeat to the Ukraine. Sweden’s best-ever finish at a World Cup came in 2003, where they lost 2-1 in the final against Germany thanks to a golden goal from Nia Künzer. In both 1991 and 2011, the Swedes finished in third place. Their biggest success to date came at their first European Championship in 1984. After a 1-0 win against England in the first leg of the final in Sweden, England won the second leg 1-0 before Tre Kronor won 4-3 in a penalty shootout.
Sweden’s record: Therese Sjögran is Sweden’s record appearance-maker, picking up 214 caps between 1997 and 2015. Since October 2014, Sweden’s top goal-scorer is Lotta Schelin who broke Hanna Ljungberg’s previous record of 72 goals after scoring her 73rd in a 2-1 loss to Germany. Schelin, who retired in August 2018 due to chronic headaches following a neck injury, scored 88 goals in 185 appearances.
The coach: Peter Gerhardsson has been Sweden’s head coach since September 2017, taking over from Pia Sundhage (October 2012 to July 2017). The Uppsala native played exclusively in Sweden during his career as a striker. His coaching career has also taken place entirely in Sweden. He coached Sweden’s U16 and U17 teams from 2002-04, before taking a job as an assistant coach with Helsingborgs IF (2005-08). From 2009 to 2015, he was the head coach of Göteburger Klub BK Häcken where he won the Swedish Cup during his last season in charge.
The right mix: Sweden call upon a mix of fresh legs and experience. Six players have ten or less caps; with Caroline Seger (197), Nilla Fischer (179) and Hedvig Lindahl (162) the team has three of Sweden’s top six most experienced players in the squad. At 36, goalkeeper Lindahl is the oldest player in the squad, while Julia Zigiotti Olme is the youngest at 21. Swedish first-division clubs Linköpings FC and Kopparbergs/Götebergs FC sent the most players to France, with four each. A further three players come from FC Rosengard in Mälmo and from Chelsea FC. In total, 23 of the players on Peter Gerhardsson’s squad play abroad, with three in France, Germany and in England.
Goal-getters: In their last 30 World Cup matches, Tre Kronor have failed to score in just three matches—each time against the USA (2007, 2015 and 2019).
The stadium: Roazhon Park is one of nine venues for the 2019 World Cup, with a capacity of 29,778. The stadium is the home of French first-division side Stade Rennes, and is the second-oldest of the nine stadiums.
The host city: Rennes is the capital of Brittany in northwest France. With a population of around 220,000 the city is the tenth-largest in France.