World Cup 2018: Proven soccer model picks England-Sweden
As long as their game plan holds and they're able to keep their net untouched, anything is possible. That is exactly what happened in their narrow victory over Switzerland. The young Three Lions did what was deemed impossible; win a penalty shootout in the World Cup. Manager Gareth Southgate has a lot to think about before this match: England will have its work cut out for it to break through and not leave its back exposed to the counterattacks Sweden is likely to try to create. This is a tough matchup for England, but it should have the offensive prowess to do what Switzerland couldn't, which is to create a goal or two.
That, in turn, would force Sweden out of its comfort zone and into the attack. Accuscore simulations indicate, with 77 percent probability, that Sweden's run will end and England will qualify. The Russians held their ground while being pounded by Spain for minutes the Spaniards had the ball for 75 percent of the match and then got the prize after two saved penalties by Igor Akinfeev. Making the top eight is an unbelievable achievement — they were half expected to fall in the group stage.
Their next opponent is likely to exploit their slow defense and all the space in the midfield much more effectively than Spain did. Croatia recovered quickly from a nightmare start to its match vs. Denmark and took control. From there it was a tough battle all over the field with nothing fancy from either side. Striker Mario Mandzukic finally found the net, and he figures to be aggressive against the Russian defense.
Russia showed in its matches vs. Uruguay and Spain that there isn't much going on in the attack except for individual flashes of talent and an occasional set piece or counterattack. Croatia should be able to control this match and cause enough havoc inside the area to score a goal or two.
If the Swedes stay on a convincing victory against Mexico, the match against Switzerland could be somewhat different. Sweden — Win Odds: Sweden — Switzerland Prediction Switzerland has not lost since ten games. Sweden has lost three of its last seven games. The Swiss have been very convincing against Brazil and Serbia. England are pretty big favorites going into this match, but Sweden certainly has a chance if they are able to keep their shape defensively throughout the matchup.
Something that's turned into a trend for Sweden during the World Cup is that they can lose the possession battle but still get off plenty of shots. Chances are England will be able to hold on to the ball for long periods during this game, so it will be important for Sweden's star midfielders to get the most out of their few opportunities and put some shots on goal. If they play solid defense and come up with at least a few good chances, Sweden can win this game.
He has three shutouts in four games so far and he will know he will need to be on top of his game if he wants to get another one. The speed and size of England's players will cause Olsen some issues, so he will need to keep his defense in a good shape and step up and make stops when he's called upon. The star midfielder is pretty obviously Sweden's top attacking threat and he proved that again against Switzerland by picking up his team's lone goal.