A dramatic penalty shootout win for England over Colombia was as tense as they come, with Jordan Henderson’s miss looking like continuing England’s spot-kick woes. A spectacular save from Jordan Pickford, from Carlos Bacca’s effort allowed Eric Dier the chance to fire his side to the quarter finals.
Sweden were more ruthless in dispatching Switzerland, in a solid display they were able to contain their opponents star player maker Xherdan Shaqiri and stifle their attack, in what was an impressive display, indicating that they will be no pushovers. Emil Forsberg’s effort took a wicked deflection to send the ball past a helpless Yanns Sommer in the 66th minute, and from then on controlled the game.
The ability for England to make the best of their set pieces has been one of their key assets so far in the tournament, with Harry Kane being manhandled during their victory over Colombia from a free-kick, causing the referee to award a spot-kick, which the Spurs frontman duly dispatched. For England to score a penalty is 6/1 with Betfair and looks a very tasty bet.
During their 3-0 win over Mexico, Sweden were able to take their opponents to half-time with the game goalless and use their superior fitness to overcome the Central Americans in the second half. With England playing a further 30 minutes against Colombia, this could be a crucial element to their plan. The game to be drawn at half-time and Sweden to win at full time is 9/1 with Betfair.
Any England fan would have been forgiven for fearing the worst as Colombia grabbed a last minute equaliser, and even more so as the extra time period loomed towards it’s finale and spot-kicks. They did however get the job done, and now face their biggest game since losing to Germany in 1990.
With only Jamie Vardy an injury concern, England boss Gareth Southgate will start with the same team that began the game against Colombia, with the emphasis on trying to win the game early in a bid to ensure that extra time is not needed, and of course the dreaded penalty shootout.
Jesse Lingard has been in sensational form for England during the tournament and looks to have cemented his place in the national side for many years to come, with the Manchester United man gaining an almost free role behind Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane, his goal against Panama has been one of the goals of the tournament so far, and he will be crucial to his side’s chances of progressing. For Jesse Lingard to score the first goal of the game is 15/2 with Betfred.
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An astonishing campaign by Sweden has been one of the more surprising elements of the World Cup so far, with them topping their group and nearly holding out for a draw with Germany. Solid, disciplined and quick through the transitional period, they have been effective in maintaining their game plan and look to be a real test for England.
Their manager Jannes Andersson is aware of his side’s limitations, and more importantly their strengths. With his players following his instructions almost to the letter, they have the best chance of making it through to the semi-finals by frustrating England and snapping up any half chances that come their way.
Although their opponents have been relatively solid, there has been moments, such as the last minute equaliser by Colombia, that will encourage Andersson’s men, and the extra effort required to beat Colombia, will ultimately effect Kane and co, especially with it being only three days prior, and Sweden will look to take the game to at least extra time. The game to finish 1-1 in 90 minutes is 5/1 with William Hill.
HEAD TO HEAD
Sweden 2-4 England (International Friendly) 21st May 1923
Sweden 1-3 England (Unofficial) 24th May 1923
Sweden 0-4 England (International Friendly) 17th May 1937
England 4-2 Sweden (International Friendly) 19th November 1947
Sweden 3-1 England (International Friendly) 13th May 1949
Sweden 0-0 England (International Friendly) 16th May 1956
England 2-3 Sweden (International Friendly) 28th October 1959
Sweden 1-2 England (International Friendly) 16th May 1965
England 3-1 Sweden (International Friendly) 22nd May 1968
Sweden 0-0 England (International Friendly) 10th June 1979
Sweden 1-0 England (International Friendly) 10th September 1986
England 0-0 Sweden (FIFA World Cup qualifier) 19th October 1988
Sweden 0-0 England (FIFA World Cup qualifier) 6th September 1989
Sweden 2-1 England (UEFA European Championship) 17th June 1992
England 3-3 Sweden (Umbro Cup) 8th June 1995
Sweden 2-1 England (UEFA European Championship qualifier) 5th September 1998
England 0-0 Sweden (UEFA European Championship qualifier) 5th June 1999
England 1-1 Sweden (International Friendly) 10th November 2001
England 1-1 Sweden (FIFA World Cup) 2nd June 2002
Sweden 1-0 England (International Friendly) 31st March 2004
Sweden 2-2 England (FIFA World Cup) 20th June 2006
England 1-0 (International Friendly) 15th November 2011
Sweden 2-3 England (UEFA European Championship) 15th June 2012
Sweden 4-2 England (International Friendly) 14th November 2012
CURRENT MATCH ODDS (BEST PRICED ODDS)
England: 19/20 - Visit Betfair!
Draw: 9/4 - Visit William Hill!
Sweden: 81/20 - Visit Betfair!
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Despite being favourites, England cannot be complacent against a resilient and battle hardened Sweden. Their failure at Euro 2016, against their Scandanavian neighbours Iceland, will ensure Southgate’s men are focused against a tough opponent. Unlucky to lose against Germany, Sweden will stick to their game plan and try to frustrate a potentially tired England. Expect the game to go into extra time if England cannot grab an early goal.
MY RECOMMENDED BETS
- Half time draw/ Full time England: 39/10 - Visit Unibet!
- A 2-2 draw: 20/1 - Visit William Hill!
- England’s first goal in the period 30-half time: 5/1 - Visit Unibet!
Please note all odds are correct at the time of publishing (19:30 6th July 2018) and are subject to change.