The Swedes, playing in their first WC since 2006, are here after negotiating an extremely tough group. This is the fourth time in succession that a Swedish side has proceeded to the knockout stage, and they face a fancied Swiss side currently ranked sixth.
Sweden will need to emulate their matchday three performance (3-0 v Mexico) to give themselves a realistic chance of at least matching their third-place finish in 1994. Though ranked lower than Switzerland, Sweden have a slight upper hand in the H2H record (W5, D3, L4).
Switzerland are in their fourth consecutive WC, and are looking to progress beyond the Round-of-16 for the first time since 1954. Victory here would enable the Swiss to go within one game of reaching uncharted depths in a WC – the semi-final stage.
Though poor during the draw with Costa Rica (2-2), the Swiss are now unbeaten in nine games. Since Euro 2016, they have recorded an impressive run of results (W15, D4, L1), but the winner of this game will face a tough quarter-final against either Colombia or England.
Players to watch: Both sides have captains that lead by example. The Swiss have Granit Xhaka (65 caps), while the Swedes boast a cult figure om Andreas Granqvist (75 caps). Both players have already found the net at least once in these finals.
Stat attack: Before scoring three against Mexico, Sweden had gone 11 games without scoring two or more goals.
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SWEDEN VS SWITZERLAND 2018
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All of Switzerland’s games in this WC have seen both teams score, in contrast to just two of their preceding ten.
Strong and stable? Nine of the 11 players that started in Switzerland’s opening match against Brazil also started in their Round-of-16 defeat at Euro 2016.
Probably will not play
Referee: Skomina D. (Slo)
Venue: Saint-Petersburg Stadium (Saint Petersburg)