Thursday, 5 July 2018

World Cup: Sweden v England

While England fans were ready to start talking about how they had diffused the Colombia game, then Yerry Mina scored. While previous English sides would have crumbled, they persevered and won via penalty shootout. Can they do the same against a determined Sweden side they have a challenging record against?


Sweden News
The Swedes are going to come into this tie with a real belief they can do something special. While full-back Emil Krafth will likely have a few question marks on his performance after a challenging tournament so far, he’s ably assisted by Viktor Claesson on the right-hand side.

Emil Forsberg, the player Sweden rely upon most for creativity, will likely come in off the left-hand side once again for the Swedes. He poses an interesting choice, and should play a major role in any creativity that Sweden can show.


England News
England will likely return to their 3-5-2 again, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek added back into the middle of the pitch. He’s a talented midfielder, and should be a fine pick for rampaging through the lines. With an extra man over the Swedes in the middle, expect England to have most of the ball.

Marcus Berg and Ola Toivonen will pose challenges for the England defence, so it will be interesting to see how they handle that physical presence up-front.


Verdict
It’s a hard game to call. England have been pretty stop-start at the tournament so far, with Harry Kane the leading light in just about every match alongside Kieran Trippier. If England can keep the performance level of the Colombia first-half a little longer, they should win here.

Sweden are a good side, but they are limited in terms of athleticism and pace. Without much pace, getting out will be tough: making an England win feel more likely.

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