Sweden vs England LIve:England seemingly shook off ghosts of World Cups past in a stunning win over Colombia, which required penalties after extra time left the sides deadlocked. Now, they’re set to take on Sweden on Saturday in the quarterfinals—a tough matchup against a team that has played quite well in its last few games.
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While England is the favorite heading into the match, defender John Stones said they cannot underestimate Sweden.
“They’ve got a lot of quality,” he said ahead of the match, according to Reuters. “They play very structured from the back, sit quite deep from what we’ve seen, and we know what we’re up against. Sometimes they can throw you these teams, they can go kind of under the radar, but there is no question they are a good team. They wouldn’t be where they are if they weren’t.”
Sweden advanced to the quarterfinals via a 1-0 victory over Switzerland. They’ll likely face a tough matchup taking on England, but their captain spoke with confidence about their game-plan. “If you look at the games we have played, the opponent has had more ball possession than we have, but we have created more chances, more dangerous chances,” Andreas Granqvist said, via Reuters. “This is how we play, this is what we need to do, this is our strength, and we also need to see our quality against other strong teams. This is the way for us to have success, and we’re going to continue this way.”Sweden will be aiming to return to the semi-finals at the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1994 with a third straight clean-sheet victory when it hits the pitch Saturday in a quarter-final matchup with England at Samara Arena.
The Blagult remain long shots on the 2018 FIFA World Cup futures despite outlasting Switzerland 1-0 in the round of 16. England is coming off a narrow victory on penalties over Colombia and posted wins in four of its previous five games.
Sweden vs. England World Cup Matchup Analysis
Sweden’s win over the Swiss as +225 underdogs continued an impressive run that started in World Cup qualifying, which they closed out with their shocking playoff win to stop Italy from qualifying. The Blagult own a solid 6-1-2 win-draw-loss record over their past nine competitive contests and have kept clean sheets in five of their past six outings across all competitions, allowing just two total goals.
The Swedes face another enormous task against a Three Lions squad that survived a close battle with Colombia as +115 favorites. England has suffered just one defeat in its past 14 outings across all competitions, a 1-0 group-stage loss to Belgium that provided Gareth Southgate’s men with favorable seeding in the knockout stages.
England trails only Belgium in terms of goals scored in the competition, with nine, and has outscored opponents by a 23-7 margin during its current 10-3-1 run. The Three Lions have struggled in past meetings with Sweden, going 2-8-5 in their past 15 meetings, but they are 1-2-0 in their past three clashes at major international tournaments, including a 3-2 victory in the group stage at UEFA Euro 2012.The Three Lions, who haven’t played in the last eight of the tournament since 2006, find themselves with a potentially favourable route to the final.Croatia or Russia will lie in wait should England beat the Swedes, but it won’t be easy against a side who have kept three clean sheets from four games in Russia.
The two nations meet for the third time at the World Cup, with both previous occasions ending all-square in 2002 and 2006.
England have only won two of their eight World Cup quarter-finals, in 1966 and 1990, while Sweden have progressed from three of their previous four.
England beat Colombia on penalties in the last-16
England beat Colombia on penalties in the last-16
However, the Three Lions hadn’t won a penalty shootout at the tournament until last Tuesday and Harry Kane’s six-goal tally is the joint-best of any England player at a single World Cup. So they have every reason to be confident.
You can listen to the action unfold at the Samara Arena live on talkSPORT, 3pm Saturday.
What the managers are saying
Janne Andersson (Sweden): “I grew up in the 70s and we used to follow English football. It was only one televised match a week in those day.
“I grew up with this and England was my second nation. It’s a wonderful feeling to face them as head coach of the Swedish team.
“But football has developed a great deal. What they still have is the heart and the spirit of fighting. I have always appreciated that but it’s not the England I grew up watching.”
Gareth Southgate (England): “Although our team will be better in two years with more life experience, maybe the cards on injuries and things won’t fall as kindly and we won’t get this opportunity again.“It’s dangerous if I start to get carried away, but I’m proud of the way we’re playing.”
What the players are saying
Andreas Granqvist (Sweden): “We have been very strong on set-pieces but this is one of England’s strengths as well and they have Kane, who is really dangerous in the penalty box.
“We need to be very strong in the box and make sure they don’t get the service they need.
“He is incredibly skilled, not just on penalties, but as a striker – he is good at everything.
John Stones (England): “There are no easy games. I think if you say it’s an easy game in a quarter-final of a World Cup, then you are pretty stupid to say that.
“They’ve got a lot of quality. They play very structured from the back, sit quite deep from what we’ve seen, and we know what we’re up against.”Sweden will be without first-choice right-back Mikael Lustig after he picked up his second yellow against Switzerland.
They welcome back Sebastian Larsson, who missed the last-16 victory through suspension.
England look set to be without Jamie Vardy after the Leicester striker suffered a groin strain against Colombia.
The fitness of Ashley Young, Kyle Walker and Dele Alli was being monitored, but they have all fully recovered.
Sweden: Olsen; Krafth, Lindelof, Granqvist, Augustinsson; Claesson, Larsson, Ekdal, Forsberg; Berg, Toivonen
England: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Dele, Henderson, Lingard, Young; Sterling, Kane