2018 FIFA World Cup Prediction: Sweden vs England


Verdict: Over 2,5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 7/4

Bookmaker: 888sport

Sweden have been by far one of the most surprising teams in the tournament. However, they will endure on probably their toughest challenge to date when they take on England. The Three Lions are one of the top candidates among the final eight teams, and are coming off a spirit-lifting win over Colombia the last time out. Meanwhile, Sweden defeated Switzerland in the Round of 16. Which side will come out on top in this thrilling contest at Samara Arena? Kick-off is scheduled at 15:00 hrs (BST).


Few teams came into the tournament with fewer expectations than Sweden, and all of a sudden they managed to sneak into the top eight teams of the competitions. The Swedes seemed left for dead when they surrendered a stoppage-time winner to Germany in the second game of the Group Stage, but they bounced back with a huge 3-0 win over Mexico and no one has been able to stop them since. Their solid 1-0 win over Switzerland was well deserved as well, and now they are just one win away from reaching the semifinals for the first time since USA 1994. One of the biggest strengths from Sweden has been their defensive line. Led by captain Andreas Granqvist and where Manchester United centre-back Victor Lindelof has been a regular starter, Sweden have kept a clean sheet in three of their four games while allowing just two goals overall. Will they manage to maintain that impressive streak knowing England have been one of the top scoring teams in the tournament? It sounds like a steep challenge for sure. But at the same time, it will be the perfect measure to determine whether Sweden really belong in the Top 4 or not.

Team News

The Scandinavian side will have one huge absence ahead of this game. Starting right-back Mikael Lustig is suspended after picking up a second yellow card, and will be out of this game.

Ludwig Augustinsson is expected to take his place in the starting XI.


If Sweden are considered a surprise, then what could we say about England? The Three Lions are a very tough team to analyse. They looked inaccurate against Tunisia despite the win, dominant against Panama, and inconsistent against Colombia. Gareth Southgate is not likely to make too many changes to the starting XI, so the main doubt here is to know which team will turn up here. If they play like they did during most of the match against Colombia they should be fine. But on the other hand, if they play like they did on the Extra Time against Los Cafeteros, then they could struggle against a very disciplined Swedish side. England have a few positive things going their way, though. Despite conceding in every single game, their defensive work has been improving after each game. And they also have the top scorer in the tournament in Harry Kane, who has six goals in only three matches. Will that be enough to secure the win – and the semi-final berth – against a balanced, tactical-savvy side?

Team News

England will be at full strength with one minor exception. Striker Jamie Vardy has been dealing with a groin injury, and the coaching staff has ruled him out of this pivotal contest.

The rest of the squad will be at full strength. Ergo, Southgate will be able to play with the same squad that featured against Colombia if he chooses to do so.

Key Factors to Consider

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Three of four England’s games in the current World Cup have had over 1.5 goals. Only two of the Swedish ones have seen that same outcome.
  • The last time these two sides met, Sweden escaped with a 4-2 win. That win came on a friendly match back in 2012.


Sweden have scored at least once in each of their four games during the competition. The same goes for England, as The Three Lions have netted 10 times already in four WC matches.

As such, I believe we can witness an open contest. Certainly one with over 2.5 goals scored.

Verdict: Over 2,5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 7/4

Bookmaker: 888sport

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