Sweden made the semi-finals of Euro 2022, but their form has been patchy ever since and they will be hoping to rediscover their spark in Australia next month.
Since losing 4-0 to England at the Euros, Sweden have won only three of their last eight internationals and their most recent efforts have seen them draw with Germany and Norway and lose to Denmark.
Recently Peter Gerhardsson’s side have been the perennial bridesmaids of women’s international football, finishing as runners-up at the 2003 World Cup, as well as the 2016 edition and the 2020 Olympic games.
But with a lot of their key personnel getting older, Gerhardsson has been unable to find the right formula for the changing of his guard.
Sweden have been one of Europe’s most consistent performers in the World Cup and four years ago in France they finished third, having lost to Netherlands in the semi-final and defeated England in their third-place play-off.
In their eight previous World Cup campaigns, Sweden have made at least the semi-final on four occasions, finishing third on three occasions and losing to Germany in the 2003 final in the United States.
Sweden made light work of World Cup qualification, finishing top of their section with 22 points from eight matches.
Sweden won seven of their eight games, scoring 32 goals and conceding only two, as they led home the Republic of Ireland in their section.
The other three teams in their group were Finland, Slovakia and Georgia, who the Swedes defeated 15-0 away from home.
Manager Peter Gerhardsson is a former player himself and having managed BK Hacken for seven years from 2009 to 2016, replaced Pia Sundhage as Sweden manager following Euro 2017.
Sundhage is now the Brazil manager and under Gerhardsson Sweden have reached at least the final four of every international tournament they have participated in.
The 63-year-old won a Swedish Cup with Hacken’s men's team and his achievements with Sweden have seen him finish third in the 2019 World Cup and claim a silver medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Preliminary squad of 26. Final 23 set to be confirmed at the end of June.
Goalkeepers: Zecira Musovic (Chelsea), Jennifer Falk (BK Hacken), Tove Enblom (KIF Orebro)
Defenders: Jonna Andersson (Hammarby), Linda Sembrant (Juventus), Amanda Nilden (Juventus), Hanna Lundkvist (Atletico Madrid), Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea), Emma Kullberg (Brighton), Nathalie Bjorn (Everton), Anna Sandberg (BK Hacken)
Midfielders: Kosovare Asllani (AC Milan), Filippa Angeldahl (Manchester City), Caroline Seger (Rosengard), Johanna Rytting Kaneryd (Chelsea), Hanna Bennison (Everton), Olivia Schough (Rosengard)
Forwards: Madelen Janogy (Hammarby), Matilda Vinberg (Hammarby), Sofia Jakobsson (San Diego Wave), Stina Blackstenius (Arsenal), Rebecka Blomqvist (Wolfsburg), Fridolina Rolfo (Barcelona), Julia Zigiotti Olme (Brighton)
There is no lack of experience in the Swedish ranks, with five players who were called up for the April internationals having over 100 caps, which includes Caroline Seger who is the most capped player in Europe.
Kosovare Asllani, Olivia Schough, Linda Sembrant and Sofia Jakobsson are the other four members of that club, but they are getting older and have seen their influence diminish.
Long-time Chelsea captain Magda Eriksson is one of the stars of the show and her leadership is invaluable for this Sweden defence.
Many Swedish talents have struggled to get regular minutes for their clubs, with Johanna Rytting Kaneryd finding it tough to break into the Chelsea side and Hanna Bennsion only playing a bit-part role at Everton.
Filippa Angeldahl, however, has forced her way into Manchester City’s starting line-up, while goalkeeper Zecira Musovic is getting time to prove herself at Chelsea.
One of the key figures in Sweden’s squad is Fridolina Rolfo, who plies her trade for Barcelona and who has excelled at full-back for the past couple of seasons.
Rolfo is deployed further up the pitch for Sweden and has 16 goal contributions in 21 league appearances for Barca, which is a remarkable achievement for a forward-thinking defender.
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