'Sweden have potential to reach last 16' - 1994 World Cup hero Andersson

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The current national team face a decisive game against Mexico which will determine whether Janne Andersson's side progress in Russia

Sweden have a group of very talented players and are good enough to reach the last 16 of the World Cup, according to their former striker Kennet Andersson.

The Swedes are third in Group F on three points heading into the final round of games, level on points with second-placed Germany, and three adrift of leaders Mexico.

Janne Andersson’s side started their World Cup with victory over South Korea and also led at half-time against holders Germany in their second game before Joachim Low’s side snatched a last-gasp win.

And former national team forward Andersson has seen potential in the current crop of players, who headed to Russia with relatively minimal expectations.

“I think it's another good generation that's coming up,” Andersson told Goal. “There is a good team spirit in this selection. And there are also very good players. That said, I think there are not many expectations on this team. But, you never know what can happen in the World Cup.”

After their late defeat to 10-man Germany, Sweden are now outsiders to make it to the last 16 as they are likely to need to beat Mexico and hope the reigning champions slip up against South Korea.

There is also a scenario whereby Germany, Mexico and Sweden could all finish level on six points, but Andersson feels his home nation have the quality to advance.

“We can reach the second round,” he added. “You have to be aware that the World Cup is only a small number of matches. It's not an entire season. You do not have to be successful for a long time.

“There are only seven games, if you are successful. I think they can do well, but everything has to go well. If so, I think we can very well get to the last 16 and why not go further.”

Andersson was part of the 1994 World Cup side that remarkably reached the semi-finals only to lose 1-0 to Brazil before beating Bulgaria 4-0 to claim third place.

When asked about the evolution of Swedish football since then, Andersson believes the current team try to play a more possession-based style compared to the previous generation.

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He said: “It goes in the direction of the evolution of football. Maybe this team has fewer spaces than we did. Even though they may also have possession. Almost all teams like to have control of the ball these days.

“That being the case, I am not really sure that there is a big difference between the time before and today. You must have a good balance.

“You have to be dangerous in front of goal, and I think this team is, but you have to build from the back. You need to have a solid foundation to be competitive. I think they will be ready in this area for the big matches of the World Cup.”

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