The quarter-finals of the World Cup have already provided us with real drama and exciting moments and it could be a tense and nervy afternoon ahead for England as they gear up to face Sweden in what should be a tight game. The English will start as favourites but Sweden will be very confident themselves, having beaten Italy over two legs to get to Russia and topped a group that saw Germany eliminated.
England have been impressive in stages so far. They played good football in getting through the group stages and then beat Colombia on penalties in what was a very fiery affair. In fairness, a lot of that was down to the South Americans who were aggressive in their approach but the Three Lions remained calm. Winning on penalties, for the first time ever in the World Cup, will give the side a huge confidence boost ahead of the quarter-final.
Yet, despite their lack of star talent, Sweden will be a very, very tough nut to crack. There’s no Henrik Larsson or Zlatan Ibrahimovic but there is a real togetherness and the side are very well organised and all know their roles. As well as that, they attack as a team well and the thumping 3-0 win over Mexico shows how good they can be going forward, whilst they deservedly beat Switzerland last time out.
Here we will give you Sweden vs England betting tips, look at where the game will be won, the key players and a Sweden vs England prediction for the last eight clash.
Our Sweden vs England Prediction: Sweden 0-1 England
Our Sweden vs England prediction tips is for the Three Lions to edge what will be a very tight, competitive game that may even go to extra-time.
When you look at these sides on paper it’s not really much of a match-up. Sweden have the likes of Andreas Granqvist, Sebastien Larsson and Ola Toivonen who all played for mid-table Premier League sides, whereas England are full of real quality. Harry Kane is the star man and the Spurs striker is the main threat. He is the top scorer in the tournament and his all-round game will make him England’s best weapon but chances will be hard to come by.
Sweden are superb out of possession, arguably the best side in the competition and England will have to play at their best to open them up. They will need the likes of Jesse Lingard, Dele Alli and Raheem Sterling to always be on the move, to drag the Swedish defence out of position and hope that Kane will get a chance. England will dominate possession and we think they will nick a goal. If they do, the dynamics of the game change entirely and it will suit Southgate’s men as Sweden press for an equaliser and England can counter.
Our recommended tip – Under 2.5 goals
Despite slightly favouring England, you can’t hide the fact that Sweden have beaten and stopped better sides over the past 18 months.
They’ve beaten France on their own patch, qualified ahead of Holland and then memorably beat Italy to reach the World Cup. Therefore, despite the lack of star names, this is a side that deserves serious respect. They play in a 4-4-2 and Janne Andersson has got a great spirit from the team and that cannot be underestimated.
Given that, we think the best option is to go for under 2.5 goals. Even though it’s an odds-on selection it should win. England have been reliant on set-piece goals so far this tournament but that is where Sweden excel so you can’t expect them to have the same joy. Additionally, they’ve struggled to carve teams open in open play, with David Ospina barely making a save of note in the last game, despite England’s dominance.
Southgate’s men will have to be patient, Sweden will sit back and whilst the tension and pressure will make this very watchable it won’t be a classic and one goal could decide it.
The clash in Samara will be the 25th between the nations and it’s been extremely tight. England have eight wins, Sweden seven and there’s nine draws. However, Sweden’s recent record is impressive as they’ve lost just two of the last 15. It will be the third meeting at the World Cup and the previous two have been drawn.
Sweden have exceeded expectations getting to this stage but it’s been thoroughly deserved. They beat South Korea then lost in heartbreaking fashion to Germany, yet they showed real character to thrash Mexico in a must-win game to set up the last 16 game against the Swiss. As expected, that was tight and cagey but they came through it thanks to an Emil Forsberg goal.
Meanwhile, it’s been tough to seriously judge England. They play good football on the eye but don’t create many clear chances in play and they had an easy group. They beat Tunisia in the last minute before smashing Panama 6-1 which meant the final group game against Belgium was meaningless and their reserve side lost 1-0 to the Red Devils reserves. That set up the last 16 game on the favourable side of the draw against Colombia and they came through on penalties which was probably deserved on the balance of play.
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Players to watch – Andreas Granqvist & Harry Kane
The experienced defender has been outstanding in Russia, organising the back four, winning his personal battles and even picking up a few crucial goals from the penalty spot. The captain will be tasked with marking Harry Kane and he will need to win that duel if the Swedes are to emerge victorious.
Similarly, England’s skipper will know that he is the main man for his country and that a lot of responsibility rests on his shoulders. There’s a strong case to say Kane is one of the best number nines in world football and he has delivered in key moments in Russia. England will be after more of the same in this game that will be decided by fine margins.