Today’s Predictions: Sweden Vs Switzerland
Sweden 1 – 0 Switzerland
The 7nd round of 16 Match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place between Sweden and Switzerland
- Date : 3rd July 2018
- Time : 7:30 PM (IST)
- Venue : Krestovsky Stadium
This match is being touted as one of the most balanced matches of the round of 16, with both teams in great form in their respective groups.
FIFA World Cup Qualification
Sweden created the biggest stir during the World Cup qualification phase by knocking out 2006 Champions and group favourites Italy, undoubtedly the highest profile nation not playing in this World Cup. They were the strongest side defensively and kept 7 clean sheets in 10 matches. This led them to finish second in a tough group also containing France, and they eventually won their playoff match against Italy, to qualify for the finals.
Switzerland almost always have very solid qualifying campaigns, however they are never able to dominate in the finals in the same way. They won their first 9 matches in qualifying but were still denied the top sport on goal difference, as Portugal overtook them in the last game. They scored 23 goals and conceded 7 in their 10 qualifying matches, before a narrow 1-0 win over Northern Ireland in the playoff earned them a ticket to Russia.
Sweden haven’t been able to carry forward their brilliant qualifers’ form to their recent international friendlies in preparation for the World Cup. They haven’t won as single game in their last 4 matches, with defeats to Chile and Romania, and goalless draws against Denmark and Peru. This means the fan are worried with the squad’s form going into the tournament, however the manager has assured that things are under control as he has been trying several formations and strategies.
Switzerland have been in decent form of late, as they have been unbeaten in their last 5 games, with 3 wins. Their most recent win was an impressive shutout against Japan, while they also earned a credible draw against Spain, just a week after hammering Panama 6-0. Beating any World Cup side with that margin is sure to build some much needed confidence.
Sweden and Switzerland in the World Cup So Far
Switzerland earned a credible draw against Brazil despite conceding an early goal which could have led to a defensive collapse and a Brazilian goal fest. However, the Swiss players regrouped brilliantly and gave a befitting reply, scoring late into the game and earning a very crucial point for qualification to the next round. They won their second game with a last minute winner from Shaqiri against Serbia, before drawing 2-2 with Costa Rica after conceding an injury time equalizer.
Sweden got 3 priceless points against South Korea courtesy of a penalty scored by their captain. However, despite taking an early lead, Sweden conceded a late winner against Germany to lose the game in heartbreaking fashion. In their 3rd game, however, they smashed group leaders Mexico 3-0 to take the top spot in their group.
Head To Head Record
These two nations have met 13 times in their history, with a very identical record i.e 5 wins each, and 3 draws.
Sweden are going to be without their most dynamic player in history as Zlatan Ibrahimovic had retired from international football a year ago. He will undoubtedly by a huge miss in the tournament. Their qualifying hero who scored the all-important winner against Italy in the play off, Jakob Johannson, is also out with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Switzerland suffered a huge injury scare when one of their main midfielders Granit Xhaka suffered a knee injury. However, he is expected to feature in the first match now. The Swiss like to play from the flanks, and have the right players for this tactic, with some of the best crossers of the ball in their roster.
Players To Watch Out For
Sweden do have a bunch of stalwarts who have been carrying the national flag high even after the retirement of the legendary Zlatan. Their most valuable player is undoubtedly Emil Forsberg, with the attacking midfielder responsible for their entire attacking gameplay. Captain Andreas Granqvist has been a defensive rock for more than a decade and will keep things tight at the back. He has already scored the all-important winner against South Korea via a penalty.
Switzerland’s go-to man in attack is undoubtedly Xerdan Shaqiri, with the nifty winger renowned for elevating his game each time he pulls on a Swiss shirt. Their captain Lichsteiner, 34, has still got the legs to bomb up and down the right flank and deliver pin point crosses, while Granit Xhaka would be looking to boss the midfield from the middle.
Sweden Vs Switzerland Betting Odds And Key Statistics
- Switzerland are very slight favourites to win this match, but the odds are very closely stacked as there is not much to separate these sides. Hence, we would advise betting on a draw within 90 minutes.
- We expect this to be a tight contest and hence we recommend betting on a draw as well as on the under 2.5 goals market.
- This is Sweden’s 12th World Cup appearance, but they could not qualify for the last two World Cups.
- This is Switzerland’s 4th consecutive World Cup appearance, having famously been knocked out in the 2006 World Cup despite not conceding a single goal.
Both these teams have had very similar campaigns so far, and would be looking to go all out to secure a place in the quarterfinals. However, we expect things to be very tight, and a draw within 90 minutes is highly likely, with Switzerland just narrowly nicking it on penalties.
Our Predicted Scoreline : Switzerland 1-1 Sweden (Switzerland to win on penalties).