England is beginning to feel like this might be their World Cup. It had been 12 years since England last won a game in the knockout rounds, and emotions are high after the Three Lions knocked off Colombia. The English have been handed a dream draw and our favored to win their side of the bracket in order to make it to the final game.
However, the English can’t be buying their tickets to next week’s final just yet, as Sweden stands in their way for a spot in the semifinals. The Swedes have won their last two matches against England, and they look to be the darlings of this World Cup cycle. England can’t take them lightly.
The most anticipated sporting event in the world comes around once every four years, so don’t miss any of the 2018 World Cup. This match will take place at Samara Arena in Samara at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, July 7, 2018. Catch every moment of the match live on FOX.
World Cup Quarterfinals Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu
Sweden has been one of the most defensively sound teams at the World Cup. The Swedes used their defense to qualify for the tournament in the first place, getting through some top competition in order to make it to Russia. They shut out South Korea and Mexico in wins in order to finish atop Group F despite a loss to Germany.
In the Round of 16, the defense was on display once more. Sweden possessed the ball for less than a third of the game against Switzerland, but they did not allow the Swiss to break through and had the better chances in the game. Midway through the second half they found the goal they needed when an Emil Forsberg shot deflected off a defender and caught Yann Sommer wrong-footed. It was all the scoring that would happen in a 1-0 game.
England has had its share of scary moments, but the Three Lions have to be feeling great headed into this clash. After beating Tunisia and Panama in the Group Stage, a loss to Belgium gave them a fortuitous draw in the knockout rounds. They would need to vanquish some old demons in order to get past Colombia in the Round of 16 though.
It looked like Harry Kane’s penalty kick goal in the 57th minute would prove to be the decisive strike in their match with Colombia. However, Yerry Mina was able to head home the equalizer right before the end of stoppage time to send the game to an extra frame. English fans around the world were nervous with penalty kicks looming, but players like Kane and Kieran Trippier looked unfazed in spite of England’s history of crashing out in penalties. They were able to win 4-3 in penalties and advanced to this match.
Both teams have some injury concerns coming into this match. For Sweden, the main worries are midfielders Albin Ekdal and Jimmy Durmaz. Ekdal has been dealing with a foot injury, while Durmaz has been hampered by a hip problem. Both players sat out of Sweden’s most recent practices and are considered questionable to play.
For England, the main concern is Jamie Vardy. Vardy was going to be one of penalty takers, but he suffered a groin injury during the match and has been receiving injections in order to try to deal with the pain. He is considered questionable at this point, while Ashley Young, Kyle Walker, and Dele Alli are all considered likely to play after picking up some knocks.
Player to Watch
Kane has been the man of the moment for England. He is currently the leader in the race for the Golden Boot, with two more goals than any other player. While three of those have come from penalties, he has proven himself adept in the air as well and has been able to head balls home off of set pieces. Sweden knows he is England’s best player, and they must mark him well on set pieces.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
I’m going to call for the upset in this one. Sweden’s defense and Robin Olsen have stood tall so far, and they have proven themselves capable of getting good opportunities on the counter.
World Cup Quarterfinals Odds: Sweden 1, England 0
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