England vs. Sweden
|Date & Time||Saturday July 7, 2018, 10:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: England -102 / Sweden +370 / Draw +233 -- Over/Under: 2
Sweden and England meet Saturday in World Cup soccer action at the Samara Arena.
Sweden is coming off a 1-0 win over Switzerland thanks to a goal from Emil Peter Forsberg, and this team is now in the quarterfinals of the World Cup for the first time in 14 years. Sweden has now produced back-to-back clean sheets and has shutout five of its last six opponents overall. The Blue-Yellow came into this tournament as the big, physical team that gets after it defensively, and with 22 combined fouls and seven shots allowed on goal in its last two matches, the message is clear how this team is going to play. Sweden isn’t always the sexiest team on the offensive end, but there has to be some value in the fact its last five goals scored have come from different players, so there’s some depth to this squad when it comes to finding the back of the net. Sweden has scored at least once in 15 of its last 20 matches. Sweden hopes to make the semifinals of the World Cup for the first time since 1994.
England is fresh off a heart attack performance over Colombia that ended in a shootout. England is in the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time since 2006 and has many fans thinking this is finally the year they win the tournament for the first time in ages. The good news for England is that it found a way to survive due to the fifth penalty kick from Eric Dier and that’s all that matters come tournament time. The bad news is England’s only easy wins came against Tunisia and Panama, two subpar clubs, while the team struggled against Belgium and Colombia. England could be playing with house money at this point or may be a team of destiny. We’ll soon find out. England hopes to make the semifinals of the World Cup for the first time since 1990.
The last time Sweden and England played was in a 2012 friendly, a match Sweden won 4-2 thanks to four goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. These clubs also met in the 2012 UEFA Euros, a match England won 3-2 due to a late goal from Danny Welbeck. England is 2-1-1 in the last four meetings against Sweden.
Sweden is worth a look here based on how it controls the pace and can force England into a sluggish, defensive battle that can decide the game on one mistake. In a match where neither team can find an offensive rhythm, it’s not always the best team that wins. With that said, England has the better playmakers in Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Jesse Lingard, who should eventually find a little breathing room or a lucky bounce that creates a goal.
I wouldn’t be shocked if Sweden wins this match, but I’ll give England the small edge.