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Where Sweden v England could be won and lost

Charlie Dear | 5 July 2018

Semi-final spot up for grabs in grudge match

The World Cup quarter-finals are here with no mention of Spain, Germany or Argentina.

England and Sweden duel for a place in the last-four of the competition.

It will be unchartered territory for both sides who haven’t reached a World Cup semi-final since 1990 and 1994 respectively.

Both nations came through intense and cagey last-sixteen ties.

England have won two of the last four matches between the two sides.

But as the knock-out rounds begin to get serious now the Coral News crew look at how the game can be won and lost…

Sweden’s mean defence

The Blue-Yellow have only conceded two goals in their last six games. And that was the two goals they conceded against Germany in the group.

Janne Andersson’s side also kept seven shut-outs in the twelve qualifying games for the tournament.

This included two clean-sheets against Italy in the play-off.

The ever-green captain Andreas Granqvist has formed a solid partnership with Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof that is not easily thwarted.

England’s forwards have looked lively but aside from Panama have only scored once in open play.

The Three Lions will have to battle yet again to make more history!

Dead-ball specialists

Sweden’s resolute back-line coupled with the vastly improving Harry Maguire and John Stones in England’s defence means this one might not be one for the purist.

Gareth Southgate’s men have notched five goals from corners in their campaign so far.

They’ve set up with personnel that know how valuable set-pieces are.

The likes of Kieran Tripper and Ashley Young have provided pin-point deliveries that will mean England are always a danger – even when not playing well.

Sweden are a well organised outfit that exemplify how team-work and resilience can take you far in the sport.

The return of Sebastian Larsson could a game-changer. The seasoned Premier League performer was missed against Switzerland as his side missed a host of first-half chances.

Larsson is known for his wicked deliveries and his re-introduction to the first-XI could end up being decisive.

Harry Kane

He is arguably the one world-class player who will be on the pitch on Saturday.

The Tottenham Hotspur forward is currently leading the World Cup golden boot standings with six goals.

Kane’s goals have been emphatically taken, even if mostly penalties. But he showed another side of his game against Colombia that proves just how much he’s improved.

His hold-up play and battling qualities shone through against La Tricolor but he will be the man that England look to, to score the goals.

As many of the top nations have fell been eliminated this could be chance for Kane to show the world just how good he really is.

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