Sweden vs England
Competition: 2018 World Cup finals
Date: 7 July 2018
Kick-off: 16:00 CET
Sweden had already met their target in these World Cup finals, even before beating Switzerland in the round of 16. Emil Forsberg’s goal in the 66th minute, the only one in the match, has… prolonged their dreamy stay in Russia, bringing back in mind the days of 1994, when the country’s national team had an incredible run in the USA finals. Right-back Mikael Lustig is out, unavailable, due to cards. Central midfielder Albin Ekdal seemed on Thursday, the day before the game, to have shaken off an injury trouble he… inherited from the round of 16 encounter with Switzerland. Sweden have already won three games in Russia, over South Korea, Mexico and the Swiss, keeping a clean sheet in all three matches. They lost to Germany, in added time.
Football fans in England are still… pinching themselves to believe that their national team actually won a big knock-out match on penalties(!!). Diego Maradona said FIFA and the referee “stole” the qualification from Colombia, but my guess is that most neutrals agree that England were the better team, and did more to deserve to qualify, despite the shock of getting equalized in added time. Fabian Delph is back, after spending six days in England, with his wife, who gave birth to a little baby. England have rather several players facing minor injury problems, and the one of Jamie Vardy seems to be the most significant of all. His injury during the little time he played against Colombia was actually the reason why he didn’t take a penalty.
Previous five matches:
Sweden vs Switzerland 1-0
Mexico vs Sweden 0-3
Germany vs Sweden 2-1
Sweden vs South Korea 1-0
Sweden vs Peru 0-0
Colombia vs England 1-1
England vs Belgium 0-1
England vs Panama 6-1
Tunisia vs England 1-2
England vs Costa Rica 2-0
The winner of this match will face the winner of Russia vs Croatia in the second semifinal.
Sweden vs England: Head to head Stats
Sweden and England have met 23 times in the past, and amazingly, they have won the same number of games, seven each (nine matches have ended in a draw). Total goals, 35-31 for the English. They have faced each other twice before in World Cup finals, in 2002 (1-1, group stage), and 2006 (another draw, 2-2, again in the group stage).
Sweden vs England: Prediction
As previously mentioned, Sweden have kept a clean sheet in three of their four games in Russia, but I trust England to score in the 90 minutes, and qualify without needing extra-time or penalties.
Sweden vs England: Betting Tips
England’s win is at 1.95. For more than that, I would gamble with their victory combined with a clean sheet. Like that, it pays 2.62.