England will be favorites to advance to the World Cup semifinals when they take on Sweden in Samara, but the Swedes will be confident in their abilities after having a great tournament so far.
Sweden has been one of the surprise packages of the World Cup, claiming 3 wins and losing just once in their 4 matches so far. The only loss came in the second group game against Germany in injury time (1-2), a match in which Sweden also conceded the only goals in this tournament. Since then, the Swedes beat Mexico 3-0 to qualify from the group stage, and backed that up with a 1-0 victory over Switzerland in Round 16.
England managed to break its penalty shootout curse in the last match against Colombia, winning the lottery after being equalized in the 90th minute for a 1-1 draw. England wasn`t great, but was solid, as it was the case for most of the tournament – maybe except for that 0-1 loss against Belgium in the group stage, when it seemed like England didn`t even try to win.Bet on Sweden vs England and claim your 100% (100 Eur) freebet at Ohmbet now!
Team news & lineups:
Sweden will miss Lustig, while Ekdal and Durmaz are questionable. England will be without Vardy, while Alli and Young are questionable. They are expected to be fit, but it`s doubtful if they will start.
Sweden: Olsen – Krafth, Lindelof, Granqvist, Augustinsson – Claesson, Larsson, Ekdal, Forsberg – Toivonen, Berg
England: Pickford – Walker, Stones, Maguire – Trippier, Dier, Henderson, Lingard, Rose – Sterling, Kane
England has a massive chance to reach their first major semifinal since Euro 1996, and the fans are right to be excited about the current generation of players. However, this is still a young and largely unproven team, and showed plenty of weaknesses during the tournament.
England juggled with some very slim margins to reach this stage, they are a good but flawed team, and beating Sweden will be far from a walk in the park.
The Swedes have been exceptionally organized and disciplined during this tournament and showed some great cohesion, something which they usually lacked during the Ibrahimovic era. They could have well reached this stage undefeated if not for that late miracle goal by Toni Kroos in their match against Germany.
Sweden’s discipline and cohesiveness will create problems for an England side which has big names, but is not necessarily very well gelled or well coached. Sweden’s ability to create havoc on counters (which they proved in all games) will also be very dangerous for an England team which isn`t particularly effective at playing with the ball, and is also vulnerable at the back.
Sweden should be able to at least keep this very competitive, and if England can’t deal with the huge pressure which will be on their shoulders, Sweden is the perfect team to take advantage and maybe even snatch a win. My tip here will be Sweden to cover the +0,5 handicap. Prediction: Sweden – England 0-0 (Sweden wins at penalties).