During this summer's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, attendance records were broken.

And when Sweden started their Nations League game last week, it was at a sold-out Gamla Ullevi.

But when tomorrow is the away game against Italy, the game will not be played in any of the country's major stadiums in a big city. The match will instead be played at the Stadio Teofilo Patini, a stadium with a capacity of 7,220 spectators, in the town of Castel di Sangro – which has just over 6,500 inhabitants. Ahead of the game tomorrow, it is expected to be about half full.

"It feels a bit wrong in time to come to a smaller stadium when it's such a big game in the Nations League as Sweden-Italy. It feels like a match that deserved to be played in an even bigger arena to really test. How many would have come if we had been in a bigger city in a bigger arena, says center back Magdalena Eriksson.


Striker Stina Blackstenius is on the same track.

"It's a bit of a contrast to come from Gamla Ullevi to an arena in the middle of ginger. It's not so easy for people to get here either as it's a good distance from the nearest big city," she says, referring to the fact that it is just over twelve miles to Frosinone in the west and to Naples in the south.

"It's hard to get away from the fact that it feels a bit boring. They would have liked to know what it would have been like if the match was held in another location and what it would have provided for the audience and the opportunities to see the match.

However, head coach Peter Gerhardsson has no problem with tomorrow's venue.

"It doesn't matter to us. I like charming and smaller stadiums, so it matters less for us than for Italy who want support at their home game."

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Sweden fell heavily after red card and penalty – see the nightmare ending in the player Photo: Bildbyrån