World Cup: Sweden vs. England team news, predictions, betting odds and TV channel

Gareth Southgate warns not to underestimate ‘more experienced’ Swedish side

Sweden vs. England World Cup quarter-final
England boss Gareth Southgate oversees training ahead of the World Cup clash against Sweden
(Image credit: Alex Morton/Getty Images)

Sweden vs. England

  • What: World Cup quarter-final
  • When: Saturday 7 July
  • Kick-off time: 3pm (UK time)
  • Where: Samara Arena, Samara
  • TV channel: live on BBC One

Jamie Vardy is unlikely to feature in the quarter-final clash with Sweden on Saturday, with England manager Gareth Southgate vowing to keep “a racehorse trainer’s eye” on his players to ensure he selects a fully fit matchday squad.

Vardy is not expected to recover from a groin injury he suffered in Tuesday’s brutal last-16 victory over Colombia, a match that John Stones has described as probably “the dirtiest” he’s ever played in.

According to The Guardian, Kyle Walker and Ashley Young are also “being closely monitored by England’s medical staff” following the street fight with the South Americans.

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In addition, the short four-day turnaround means that Southgate and his medical staff will have to look out for signs of fatigue among players who may not have picked up a knock but may have seriously depleted energy stocks.

Racehorse trainer’s eye

“You’ve got to have a racehorse trainer’s eye at times to sort that out,” said Southgate. “It’s not straightforward because we won’t see everything, but we’ll have a feel from what they’re reporting and the way they’re running, and then we can try to make the best decisions we can.”

The England manager knows that simply asking the players how they feel isn’t the answer, because who would rule themselves out of a World Cup quarter-final? Tough decisions may be required, even heart-breaking ones.

“The lads would always be prepared to risk injury for these games but that can’t be at the detriment of the performance,” Southgate said. “When it gets to these games, they’re not always as honest as they might be about how fit they are.”

Complete confidence

Walker suffered cramp against Colombia but says he is fit, while Young took a knock to his ankle. But even if Southgate is forced to make changes, he’s confident it won’t be to the detriment to the team’s performance. “We have good players available to come in,” he said. “If we’ve got players who are 75%, the guys who haven’t been in the team deserve to come in and be at 100%.”

Massive character

One player almost certain to line up against Sweden is Stones, one of the few to have started all four England games at the World Cup. The Manchester City defender will win his 30th cap on Saturday but of all his appearances for his country, none has rivalled that of Colombia for brutality.

“They were probably the dirtiest team I’ve ever come up against,” said Stones. “The headbutt you’ve all seen, scuffing the penalty spot, a lot of off-the-ball things you probably haven’t heard about… all the sort of things that you don’t really hear in a football match.

“We showed massive character to keep cool heads and not get sucked into their game. When you play against a team who want to fight, disturb your momentum, you can sometimes get dragged into it. We stuck to our plan, kept playing our own football.”

Huge respect for Sweden

Tuesday’s penalty shoot-out win has left many English fans confident that this could be the year when “football comes home”, but Southgate has sounded a note of caution, pointing out that the Three Lions’ record against Sweden is poor.

They’ve beaten the Swedes only twice in 15 matches (including draws at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups), and in their most recent clash, in 2012, the Three Lions lost 4-2.

“We have huge respect for Sweden,” said Southgate. “They are a team that I think in the past have been underestimated - we won’t make that mistake. Our players come from the same background as their players.

“We shouldn’t get carried away with ourselves being better than Sweden. They are older, more experienced, and have a better tournament record than us.”

Sweden vs. England predicted starting XIs

How the teams could line up at the Samara Arena, according to the London Evening Standard:

  • Sweden: Olsen, Krafth, Lindelof, Granqvist, Augustinsson, Claesson, Svensson, Ekdal, Forsberg, Berg, Toivonen
  • England: Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Young, Henderson, Alli, Lingard, Sterling, Kane

Sweden vs. England predictions

Mark Lawrenson, BBC Sport: “The thing that impressed me most about England against Colombia was the way they stood up to the provocation they faced. But Gareth Southgate’s side also did well to respond after conceding an equaliser so late, and obviously recovering from that. The way the draw has opened up for England is a massive carrot for them, and I think they will continue their progress. Sweden’s strength is their organisation at the back, but England have got the players to open them up, especially out wide, and I can see them getting some joy when they come forward. Prediction: Sweden 0, England 2.”

Charlie Nicholas, Sky Sports: “England have more quality, there’s absolutely no doubt about that, but I’ve not been caught up with the fluency of their play. It took them a long time to get going after suffering the disappointment of having to go to extra time against Colombia, which is another issue. I see this going all the way again and I can actually see England having to come from behind just to get to extra time as they’ll have heavy legs. I went for England to reach the quarter-finals before the tournament starts and I’m sticking to that prediction. Prediction: Sweden 1 England 1 [Sweden to win on penalties].”

Martin Laurence, The Guardian: “England’s superior quality should just about win out, but it’s unlikely to be easy viewing yet again. Southgate’s side are the only quarter-finalists who have not kept a clean sheet in Russia, so it may fall to Kane to bail them out once more. Prediction: Sweden 1 England 2.”

The Daily Telegraph: “After winning a World Cup match via a penalty shoot-out, we are officially daring to dream. Sweden 1 England 2 [after extra time].”

Sweden vs. England betting odds

Best prices according to Oddschecker (as of 6 July).

  • England to win: 1/1
  • Draw: 9/4
  • Sweden to win: 15/4

First goalscorer

  • Harry Kane (England): 3/1
  • No goalscorer: 11/2
  • Marcus Rashford (England): 6/1
  • Danny Welbeck (England): 7/1
  • Raheem Sterling (England): 7/1
  • Jesse Lingard (England): 17/2
  • Marcus Berg (Sweden): 9/1
  • Dele Alli (England): 9/1
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