WATCH: Raucous Sweden fans MARCH on stadium in St. Petersburg before Euro 2020 clash with Slovakia
Sweden fans were out in force in St. Petersburg ahead of their team’s crucial Euro 2020 meeting with Slovakia in sweltering sunshine in Russia’s northern capital on Friday.
The Swedes take on Group E rivals Slovakia knowing that anything short of a win will leave their chances of reaching the knockout stages hanging by a thread.
Janne Andersson’s team picked up a creditable 0-0 draw with Spain in their opening game in Seville despite being subjected to a passing onslaught.
Slovakia meanwhile pulled off a shock 2-1 win against Poland in St. Petersburg and will look for more magic at the same venue against the Swedes.
Before the game kicked off it was a sea of yellow as Swedish fans vastly outnumbered their rivals as they gathered in the bars around the stadium on Krestovsky Island.
With around an hour to go before kick-off a mass of yellow shirts congregated near a fountain at the centre of a tree-lined alley leading to the arena, then making their way to the 67,000-seater venue in unison.
Chants from the Swedes paid homage to manager Andersson as well as forward Alexander Isak – the 21-year-old tipped by many as a potential breakout star of the tournament.
Sweden are appearing in their sixth successive edition of the Euros but have failed to make it out of the group stage since making the quarter-finals in 2004.
For Slovakia, Euro 2020 is a second appearance at the tournament after they reached the last 16 in France five years ago.
Slovakia's opening win in St. Petersburg on Monday came courtesy of an own goal from Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and a second-half strike from Milan Skriniar.
After Friday’s game the Swedes close their Group E campaign against Poland in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, while Slovakia travel to Seville to meet Spain.