The third quarter final at 2018’s World Cup sees England come up against Sweden after The Three Lions’ dramatic penalty shoot-out win against Colombia in the last round
Gareth Southgate and his men are still revelling from Tuesday night’s historic victory – however, their focus will now need to be on Saturday if they are to reach their first semi-final since 1990.
After the game, midfielder Raheem Sterling insisted England will be ready for Sweden.
He said: “I’ve watched pretty much every single game as I can – the other boys as well. We’ve seen what they’re like, how they play and we will take that in over the next couple of days.
“We have one system and they have theirs. It’s been working well for them and we will prepare for the game and solely focus on that.”
For the game against Colombia, Gareth Southgate returned to his preferred starting eleven, and few people expect to see changes against Sweden. Jamie Vardy picked up a groin injury towards the end of the game – stopping him from taking a penalty – and is a doubt for Saturday.
After the game, Southgate said the dressing room, “was like a scene from M*A*S*H” with players suffering from cramp, however there are no major injury concerns.”
Skipper Harry Kane, who is the current top goal scorer of the competition, experienced discomfort in his calf during the game, but has since declared himself fit.
What can England expect from Sweden?
England will go into the quarter-final tie as the favourites and are ranked 11 places above Sweden’s FIFA World Ranking of 24.
Since the international retirement of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden don’t possess any world superstars you might expect to find in a quarter final side. However, it is their organised defence and their rigid 4-4-2 formation which may prove difficult for England to break down. They have kept three clean-sheets in the World Cup so far, including their 1-0 win over Switzerland, and England’s goal threat from set pieces may prove the difference in this clash.
If England manage to overcome this Swedish side, then a semi-final game against either Russia or Croatia will await them.
England V Sweden is on Saturday at 3pm, and will be broadcast live on the BBC and ITV.
The other quarter-finals are:
Uruguay V France, Brazil V Belgium and Russia V Croatia.
Image source: Sporting News.
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