Sweden vs England: Preview, Predicted Starting XI, Betting tips - Russia 2018 World Cup

England players celebrate goal at Russia 2018 World Cup

Sweden vs England
3:00pm July 7th, 2018
Samara Arena

This world cup continues to confound bookmakers with yet another surprise result yesterday, most would expect France to beat Uruguay but not in that emphatic fashion; Belgium are quite talented but were you expecting them to oust Brazil that clinically?

Step forward Three Lions of England, the boys of the queen file out today against a bogey team, one they have always struggled with.

In 2002, question marks were hugely around the fitness of David Beckham who had broken his metatarsal in the wee hours of the league season that year, England were boring, to say the least against the Swedes, sending long balls upfield to Michael Owen and Emile Heskey who got nothing on the Swede center-backs.

There is something uniquely strange about this bunch of English players, they seem to be a different breed, maybe not as talented as the class of 2002/06 but they look hungrier, no showman like Becks or Rooney, no big name in defence like Rio Ferdinand and John Terry but they do have tournament golden boot hopeful, Harry Kane and a young squad of roaring cubs.

Sweden didn’t get here easily, they were solid even in the gnashing defeat to Germany, they employed the basics against Switzerland at the second round, surprised many by taking Mexico, new favourites to the cleaners to top the group ahead of the Americans who would later lose to Brazil.

Granqvist and Forsberg have been the ones carrying the team on their shoulders, top quality players with guts, their midfield has been disciplined and they need all the focus they can muster against the Three Lions.

It feels very much like 1966 all over again, big guns are crashing out, the favourable right side of the divide with less scary teams gives England this unfair advantage, they’re not meeting Brazil, France or Portugal, at least until the final, which must be on their minds in that loss to Belgium.

If they win here, they will face either France or Belgium at a point where they would have the trophy at the sidelines, but they must bear in mind that they still have the winners of Russia vs Croatia to face at the semis too… Until then, they have Sweden to attend to.

Possible Starting XI

Sweden: Robin Olsen; Emil Krafth, Victor Lindelöf, Andreas Granqvist, Ludwig Augustinsson; Viktor Claesson, Sebastian Larsson, Albin Ekdal, Emil Forsberg; Marcus Berg, Ola Toivonen

England: Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire; Kieran Trippier, Dele, Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young; Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane

Betting prediction: Sweden to advance

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