FIFA World Cup Predictions: Sweden V England
The first of two all-European FIFA World Cup quarterfinal clash pits England against Sweden, with the winner securing a spot in the semi-final to face either Russia or Croatia.
Both teams have done very well in the competition, and both are definitely eyeing to continue their journey in Russia so expect a very exciting game between hungry nations.
One team boasts star quality in England while the Swedes are complete with players who are ready to win despite being underdogs.
Both have realistic chances in going through to the next round but as only one can move on, here are some of the pointers that play to their respective benefits.
Heading into the World Cup, many did not know what to expect with Sweden given that they are missing out on probably the best player to ever come out of the country, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
However, they have gotten the results they need and eventually won their group by beating Mexico 3-0 to secure their spot in the knockouts.
From there, they beat out and frustrated a Switzerland squad who failed to penetrate the Swedish defence, with Emil Forsberg providing the winner in the 66th minute of the match.
Looking at their World Cup campaign, Sweden could have easily gone unbeaten if not for a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Germany when the defending champions were saved by an injury time goal from Toni Kroos. This displays just how resolute the Swedish team is in getting results despite the amount of talent across the pitch from them.
In the quarterfinals for the first time since 1994, expect the Swedes to continue executing their game plan to be very disciplined and try to frustrate the Englishmen.
ENGLAND CAN NOW BELIEVE
Unlike past teams in the World Cup, England entered the competition void of any lofty expectations as they fielded in a team with youth that the experience alone looked like the morale victory in itself.
However, it seems to have invigorated the outfit as the Three Lions have been exceeding expectations and many are now starting to believe that the dream may become a reality.
Winning their first two games in the group stages, England secured their places in the knockouts despite the loss to Belgium in the last game of their group.
In the round-of-16, they faced a tough and physical Colombia squad but Harry Kane came to their rescue to secure a crucial goal. The game eventually came down to a penalty shootout and the Englishmen appeared to have lifted the curse as they went through by scoring four out of five of the spot kicks and are now in the quarters against Sweden.
With so many powerhouse teams already eliminated in the game, the ground has been set for England as they now have a realistic chance to advance to the finals. The team appears to believe, and the fans are now starting to believe as well so this may be the perfect time for the Three Lions to further impress in the World Cup.
Among the four quarterfinal matches in the World Cup, this England-Sweden tie has the biggest difference in terms of odds as Englishmen are nearly a 4-1 favourite to move through.
The Three Lions have certainly deserved the distinction, impressing in the group stages and showing their grit by overcoming a Colombia side by penalty shootout.
Sweden are certainly going to fight for 90 minutes and both teams are expected to score at least once, but England and Harry Kane are likely to be a little too much as they are set to march to the semis.