In their fourth-ever World Cup (WC) quarter-final, and their first since 1994, Sweden take on nine time quarter-finalists England at the Cosmos Arena in Samara. Both teams are on the hunt for their first semi-final in over 20 years.
Sweden have gone from strength to strength since losing to Germany in the group stage, and looked solid as they dispatched sixth-ranked Switzerland in the Round-of-16. Tight at the back, they’ve now kept a clean sheet in six of their last seven matches
England, however, will challenge that statistic. A youthful side has scored nine times in four matches so far, and finally got the experience of winning a WC shootout last round against Colombia. A vital psychological boost, no doubt!
The Three Lions’ (ENG) defeat in the final group stage match against Belgium is their only loss in their last 14 matches. Each of the two previous meetings between Sweden and England in WC finals (both being group stage matches) have ended in a draw.
Players to watch: In centre back Andreas Granqvist (75 caps), the Swedes have a man who has marshalled his teammates well, with the backline conceding just 0.16 goals per game in the last six.
England, as ever, will have the indomitable Harry Kane (six goals in three WC matches) as their own captain, and his duel with Granqvist will be key to the result.
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Stat attack: Sweden have scored two or more goals in just one of their last 13 matches.
Five of England’s last seven matches (in all competitions) have seen both sides score (BTTS).
Sweden hold a slight edge in the H2H record: W4, D6, L2. Sweden’s last competitive win came in September 1998 (2-1, in a Euro 2000 qualifier)
Three of the last four H2H encounters have produced over 2.5 goals.
Will not play
Lustig M.(Yellow Cards)
Probably will not play
Vardy J. (Groin Injury)
Referee: Kuipers B. (Ned)
Venue: Cosmos Arena (Samara)