Kick-off: 1500, 07/07/2018
Stadium: Samara Arena
TV: BBC One/ITV
England face a physical scrap when taking on Sweden in Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final clash but have an edge in class in our book.
The Three Lions may for once be matched by the battling qualities and aerial athleticism of the Scandinavians but can call on superior speed and skill to progress in Samara.
We’re snapping up 3/2 for Gareth Southgate’s side to win to nil as our first Sweden vs England prediction.
A Look At Sweden’s Betting Odds
Sweden have revelled in being underdogs, upsetting Italy in a play-off to get to Russia, topping a group which contained Germany and then stunning Switzerland at the last-16 stage.
Emil Forsberg’s deflected 66th-minute strike proved enough to edge past the Swiss following yet another resilient display from this hard-working outfit.
Forsberg said: “To see what we’re achieving together, it just brings tears to my eyes and makes me so proud. It is pushing us on to want to achieve more.
“If we get everything right, we know we can be really good both in defence and attack. We didn’t give Switzerland many chances at all.”
Captain courageous Andreas Granqvist exemplifies the spirit in this side, but that tussle with Switzerland was low on quality and question marks remain over whether Sweden truly belong at this level.
A Look At England’s Betting Odds
England looked to have done enough to see off Colombia after forging ahead through Harry Kane’s 57th-minute spot-kick, as they controlled play for large parts of that contest.
However, Yerry Mina’s stoppage-time header led to penalties, when Jordan Pickford denied Carlos Bacca and then Eric Dier sealed victory.
With England having previously lost six of seven shoot-outs in major tournament history, Southgate was naturally delighted to buck the trend.
He said: “In life, we always have to believe in what is possible and not be hindered by history or the expectations.
“I think these young players are showing that. They’re enjoying the tournament and we’re looking forward now to preparing for the quarter-final.”
The Three Lions will hopefully have learnt the importance of finishing teams off when on top.
That makes 12/5 for them to prevail by more than a one-goal margin worth adding to our Sweden vs England betting tips.
For punters who like a first goalscorer wager, we’ve got a couple of value selections.
Manchester United veteran Ashley Young shared free-kick duties with fellow wing-back Kieran Trippier in the last-16 clash with Colombia and both went close to hitting the target.
SWEDEN 1-0 Switzerland – Forsberg
Colombia 1-1 ENGLAND (3-4 on penalties) – Kane (pen)
Head-to-head: Sweden 4-2 England, Sweden 2-3 England, England 1-0 Sweden, Sweden 2-2 England, Sweden 1-0 England, England 1-1 Sweden