Sweden to look to upset England in World Cup

Sweden to look to upset England in World Cup
Sweden's Andreas Granqvist (L) celebrates with his teammates after scoring the 2-0 lead from the penalty spot during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group F preliminary round soccer match between Mexico and Sweden in Ekaterinburg, Russia, 27 June 2018.EPA/Atef Safadi

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Jul 06, 2018. 09:30

Sweden will be hoping to maintain their dominance over England when they meet in a quarter-final clash of the 208 FIFA World Cup on Saturday night.

The encounter will be staged at Samara Arena in Russia at 16:00 (CAT).

The Swedes are eyeing their fourth win in the global tournament having emerged as runners up in Group F behind Mexico, only separated on goal difference.

Manager Janne Andersson has proved many of his doubters wrong after taking a less fancied side to dizzy heights, a move seen as reviving the Swedish football.

The Blue-Yellow managed to bag six points after beating South Korea and Mexico, but succumbed to a single defeat to defending champions Germany.

In their round of 16 assignment, they met a resilient Switzerland in a European derby but managed to scrape past the Swiss via a 1-0 win.

Although they are yet to lift the Jules Rimet trophy, they managed to finish second in 1958, finished third twice in 1950 and 1994 as well as a fourth place finish in 1938.

Coach Andersson will pin his hopes on his skipper and experienced forward in Andreas Granqvist to open up the solid English defence.

For the English, manager Gareth Southgate will find inspiration in his skipper Harry Kane as they chase their fourth win on Saturday.

They tasted glory in 1966 as hosts when they beat West Germany at Wembley Stadium and will be hoping to find inspiration from that achievement.

In their Group G campaign, they beat Tunisia 2-1 and demolished Panama 6-1 before losing to Belgium in their final match to set up a clash against Colombia in the Last 16 – they finished second with six points behind the Red Devils.

The Three Lions fought hard for a win over the South Americans where they secured a 4-3 win over penalty shoot-out win on Tuesday this week after the match ended 1-1.

The teams have met in two previous World Cup matches. Both were in the group stage and both ended in draws: 1-1 in Saitama in 2002 and 2-2 in Cologne in 2006.

Their most recent clash was a friendly in Solna in November 2012 which was won 4-2 by the Swedes.

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