Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: Sweden vs England - Preview - World Cup 2018

Sweden vs England - Preview - World Cup 2018

Sweden vs England - Preview - World Cup 2018

And then there were eight! The third quarter-final of the 2018 World Cup will see Sweden go head to head with England at the Samara Arena.

Neither of these two have been particularly convincing throughout the tournament and could have been dumped out as easily as they qualified for this stage. None of that matters now as both teams find themselves just three wins away from an inconceivably unlikely World Cup triumph.


FIFA World Cup
Sweden vs England  
Quarter Finals 
Saturday 7 July  
Samara Arena 

To Win
Sweden 37/10
Draw 9/4
England 17/20


Sweden – despite being on the back foot for much of their Round of 16 encounter against Switzerland – squeaked through to the quarter-finals. Their passage was sealed as Emil Forsberg’s 66th-minute shot took a wicked deflection off the boot of Manuel Akanji to beat Yann Sommer in the Swiss goal. 

The Leipzig forward had endured a difficult World Cup until that goal went in. He – along with the rest of Sweden – will hope that it’s a sign of things to come. He’s only managed to find the back of the net once having taken a total of 14 shots. He’ll certainly need to better his conversion rate as the Swedes go deeper in the tournament. 

It’s unfair to focus solely on Forsberg, however, as the Swedish were collectively wasteful on Tuesday evening. While they only enjoyed 36% of the possession, they had by far the better of the chances and probably would have won more comfortably but for frankly amateurishly wayward finishing. 

You feel that they’ll need to be at their best defensively against the Three Lions. Their back four have been sensational in the lead-up to the finals and in the tournament. They’ve conceded twice in their last six matches – both of those goals coming against the outgoing world champions in the group stages.

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England certainly have ridden their luck throughout this tournament. They bumbled past Tunisia before blowing away Panama. They then went down 1-0 in their final group game against Belgium before beating Colombia on penalties in the Round of 16. 

Gareth Southgate certainly is getting the absolute best out of his team at these finals but will demand more against a team 12 places worse off on the FIFA rankings. You feel that Harry Kane will once again be key to England’s chances. The Tottenham man leads the race for the Golden Boot with six goals to his name – a stat he’d no doubt love to build on Saturday.

Worryingly for England, however, was how poorly they fared in extra-time against Colombia. They seemed to run out of gas completely as the South Americans dominated the extra 30 minutes before the English claimed victory on penalties. You can see the Swedes sitting back and absorbing the English pressure before trying to grab a goal where they can. They’ll back themselves to deal with the English aerial presence from set pieces, something other teams have struggled with at this tournament. 

Sweden are exactly the type of well-organised unit that you simply don’t want to come up against in knockout football. This certainly will be England’s toughest test to date and if they come out on top, they will start believing that they can go all the way.

Probable line-ups:
Sweden: 4-4-2
Olsen; Lustig, Lindelof, Granqvist, Augitinsson; Forsberg, Ekdal, Svensson, Claesson; Toivonen, Berg

England: 3-5-2
Pickford; Maguire, Stones, Walker; Young, Lingard, Henderson, Alli, Trippier; Kane, Sterling

Prediction: Additional Totals Under 1.5 Goals (29/20)
This should be a pretty tight encounter. Sweden’s defence has more than earned its miserly reputation and England have battled to score from open play against some of the stronger nations. I can’t separate them, but this tie could well be separated by a single goal in regular time. Get on the additional totals – Under 1.5 Goals at 29/20.

Written by Jason Dewey

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