After a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory against Colombia in the last 16, England face Sweden for a place in the World Cup semi-finals. It’s an unbelievable opportunity for the Three Lions at Russia 2018, but with Russia or Croatia to come in the last four, Sweden will be thinking exactly the same thing.
Where and when: Samara Arena – 7 July, kick-off 15:00
Where you can see Sweden vs England: BBC
Last time: Sweden beat England 4-2 in a 2012 friendly that’s famous for Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s incredible bicycle kick from 30 yards. Sweden’s record goalscorer got four that day, but isn’t in Russia this summer.
|Second half to be highest scoring||21/20||Offer|
|Kane to score first in 3-2 England win||80/1||Offer|
Sweden v England Predictions and Preview
Sweden and England go toe-to-toe for a place in the World Cup semi-finals on Saturday afternoon, full of confidence and optimism. Reaching the last four was beyond the expectations of either nation at the start of the tournament, but suddenly the final seems like it could be achievable too.
England finally waved goodbye to their penalty shootout curse, triumphing on spot-kicks for the first time ever at a World Cup on Tuesday. The Three Lions showed great character to recover from the heartbreak of Colombia’s injury-time equaliser, while the penalty takers all showed excellent composure.
Gareth Southgate has really got into the psychology of penalties and the shootout environment, and another one would hold no fear for England. The manager and his players would both prefer to get the job done inside 90 minutes though, and they are 10/11 to do just that.
Sweden are 4/1 for the victory, and they’re already enjoying their best World Cup since they finished third in 1994. Janne Andersson has got his team well-organised and tough to break down, and after keeping three clean sheets so far in Russia, they are hard to beat.
With that in mind, the draw at 12/5 could certainly be an option in this game, as the teams go into extra-time with the possibility of penalties. England are 4/9 to qualify for the semi-finals by any means, while Sweden are 2/1 for the same bet.
There’s every chance this game could be cagey to begin with, before opening up a little in the second half with everything on the line. You can get 21/20 on the second period being the highest scoring, while it’s 39/10 for draw/England in the half-time/full-time market.
One to watch for Sweden: Emil Forsberg has a burgeoning reputation at RB Leipzig, and broke the deadlock with a deflected effort against Switzerland. He is 16/1 for the first goal of the game on Saturday.
One to watch for England: Harry Kane is top of the pile in the race for the Golden Boot. Personal glory no doubt comes second, but it’s still important to the England captain, and he’s 13/5 to open the scoring in this one.
Long shot: England beat Sweden 3-2 at Euro 2012, and if we get an early goal in this game then it could open up in a similar way. A repeat of that result is priced at 50/1, with the odds increasing to 80/1 with Kane as the first scorer.