World Cup 2018 predictions: England fancied to defeat Sweden



England face Sweden on Saturday afternoon knowing they are just three games away from claiming World Cup glory.

The Three Lions progressed to the quarter-finals of the tournament with a thrilling penalty shoot-out victory over Colombia, while Sweden made it through courtesy of a 1-0 win against Switzerland.

The two sides have met 24 times previously, with England winning eight games, losing seven and drawing nine.

England are priced at 19/20 to win in 90 minutes, with Sweden on offer at 15/4 and the draw available at 9/4.

Following their win over Colombia, eight of England’s last 15 World Cup knockout matches have now gone to extra-time.

Both sides are priced at 10/1 to triumph on penalties and covering each could be a sensible route to securing a profit from the game.

If the match does go to a shoot-out the respective managers would be well-advised to look towards their strikers for their penalty takers.

According to research conducted by Betway, forwards have a near 80% success in World Cup shoot-outs, significantly higher than their midfield and defensive counterparts.

England manager Gareth Southgate is hopeful of having a number of his fitness doubts available following Tuesday’s tough battle against Colombia.

Dele Alli, Ashley Young, Jesse Lingard, Kyle Walker, Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy are all understood to be carrying knocks, but only the latter could be struggling to be available for selection.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek may replace Alli in the starting XI, with the Tottenham’s star’s ongoing thigh problem limiting the impact he’s been able to have on the tournament so far.

Sweden boss Janne Andersson has already exceeded expectations by qualifying for the quarter-finals for only the second time since they reached the final in 1958 – but he has a few selection worries to contend with.

Albin Ekdal has had an X-ray on a foot problem, while Jimmy Durmaz missed training on Wednesday with a hip problem.

Sebastian Larsson returns from suspension, but Mikael Lustig is out after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament during the win over Switzerland.

England have met Sweden twice at the World Cup previously in 2002 and 2006. Both games were drawn and Saturday’s match is likely to be a tight affair.

The Swedes are difficult to break down, but Southgate’s side have a golden opportunity to progress to a semi-final meeting with either Croatia or Russia and it’s one that they shouldn’t pass up.

England to win, Sweden over 2.5 cards and England over 1.5 cards is priced at 7/1 and could give punters a good run for their money.

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