Emil Krafth emerges as considered surprise starter for Euros after Newcastle United form
Sweden kick off their Euro 2020 finals campaign on Monday 14 June and Emil Krafth could be a surprise inclusion when their starting eleven is announced.
Playing regularly in the Premier League for Newcastle United with improved form, has pushed him into serious consideration for his national side as they prepare to face Spain in eight days time.
After only four starts in Newcastle’s first 23 Premier League games of the season, Emil Krafth was a surprise regular in the final stages of the season, starting 10 of the last 15 PL matches, including all of the last four, when Newcastle beat Leicester, Sheffield United and Fulham, as well as unluckily losing to Manchester City when Emil Krafth scored his first ever Premier League goal.
Krafth started for Sweden when they lost to England in the knockout stages of the World Cup in July 2018 but since then he’d only started three games for his country in close to three years.
However, becoming a Premier League regular looks to have made a big difference, Emil Krafth starting both games that preceded last night’s sub appearance against Armenia, as Sweden beat Finland and Estonia with the Newcastle defender helping his national side to keep two clean sheets.
Saturday night seeing Sweden lead Armenia 2-1, Krafth introduced with 18 minutes remaining and helping them see out a 3-1 win, Marcus Berg scoring the third late on.
Emil Krafth may still have still a long way to go to convince most Newcastle fans that he has it in in him to be first choice longer-term. However, for Sweden, they are presented ahead of the Euro 2020 finals with someone who has been playing regular Premier League football and holding his own in the English top tier.
Listed below are all the summer confirmed matches potentially involving Newcastle United players, with all the pre tournament friendlies and then the Euro 2020 group matches. Whilst for Miguel Almiron, it is a couple of World Cup qualifiers, before then the Copa America tournament now set to take place in Brazil after it was taken off Argentina, due to rising virus cases.
PRE-EURO 2020 FINALS FRIENDLIES (Apart from Miguel Almiron with World Cup qualifiers)
Saturday 29 May
Sweden 2 Finland 0
A rare 90 minutes for his country, as Emil Krafth shook off an ankle injury picked up in training, to play the full game in the 2-0 win.
Sunday 30 May
Switzerland 2 USA 1
Fabian Schar played full 90 minutes of first team football for first time in almost four months. Former NUFC defender DeAndre Yedlin called into USA squad for first time in 18 months and played final 10 minutes as a sub.
Tuesday 1 June
Slovakia 1 Bulgaria 1
Martin Dubravka an unused sub.
Wednesday 2 June
Holland 2 Scotland 2
Good news for Newcastle and Scotland as Ryan Fraser was back from injury, playing his first football since starting the 3-0 NUFC defeat at Brighton in March.
Fraser playing a full part after coming on in the 62nd minute when Scotland were drawing 1-1, the Scots then quickly making it 2-1 with Holland only grabbing a draw thanks to an 89th minute goal.
Thursday 3 June
Switzerland 7 Liechenstein 0
Playing the opening half, Fabian Schar was subbed at the break with Switzerland 1-0 up.
After his departure, Switzerland scoring another six goals without reply in this international walkover, the final score 7-0 to the Swiss.
Uruguay 0 Paraguay 0
Miguel Almiron helped Paraguay to take another small step towards World Cup qualification for Qatar 2022.
A spirited goalless draw saw Paraguay extend their unbeaten run to eight matches and after this fifth of eighteen group games, the point keeps them fourth of ten and ahead of Uruguay in fifth on goal difference. The top four qualify automatically for the World Cup finals, the fifth goes into a play-off.
A game of few chances where Uruguay edged it and saw a Rodriguez goal maybe unluckily disallowed and Suarez missed a sitter. However, Paraguay did come into the game late on and Almiron saw one effort go just wide and the Newcastle man setting Sanchez up twice in decent positions, one saved by the keeper and the other just off target.
Saturday 5 June
Sweden 3 Armenia 1
The Swedes completely dominated and had 17 shots and 10 corners, winning 3-1.
At 2-1, Emil Krafth was introduced with 18 minutes to go, helping to see out the win and Sweden extending their lead with an 85th minute goal from Marcus Berg.
Sunday 6 June
Slovakia v Austria (Martin Dubravka)
Scotland v Luxembourg (Ryan Fraser)
Wednesday 9 June
Paraguay v Brazil (Miguel Almiron – World Cup qualifier)
EURO 2020 FINALS and COPA AMERICA (Miguel Almiron)
Saturday 12 June
Switzerland v Wales (Fabian Schar)
Monday 14 June
Scotland v Czech Republic (Ryan Fraser)
Slovakia v Poland (Martin Dubravka)
Sweden v Spain (Emil Krafth)
Paraguay v Bolivia (Miguel Almiron – Copa America)
Wednesday 16 June
Switzerland v Italy (Fabian Schar)
Friday 18 June
Scotland v England (Ryan Fraser)
Slovakia v Sweden (Martin Dubravka and Emil Krafth)
Sunday 20 June
Switzerland v Turkey (Fabian Schar)
Monday 21 June
Paraguay v Argentina (Miguel Almiron – Copa America)
Tuesday 22 June
Scotland v Croatia (Ryan Fraser)
Wednesday 23 June
Slovakia v Spain (Martin Dubravka)
Sweden v Poland (Emil Krafth)
Thursday 24 June
Paraguay v Chile (Miguel Almiron – Copa America)
Sunday 27 June
Paraguay v Uruguay (Miguel Almiron – Copa America)
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