Date: Tuesday July 3rd
Match Odds: Switzerland +165 / Sweden +205 / Draw +195
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
In this knockout phase match Switzerland in the slight betting favorite facing a surprising Sweden team that won their group. They lost to Germany in group play, but still came out on top, which was a surprise with the Germans and Mexico in the group.
Switzerland had the 2nd best odds to win their group and they finished in 2nd behind Brazil, who they played to a 1-1 draw.
The winner of this round of 16 match will face-off with the winner of the Columbia match in the quarterfinals.
This is the 4th straight World Cup that Sweden has played in where they have advanced to the knockout stage.
All times these European teams have met 14 times where each squad has five wins and Four have ended in a draw. They have not faced each other since a 2002 friendly and this is their first ever meeting in a major Tournament.
Sweden played solid defense in their three group matches conceding two goals and both came in the loss to Germany where they gave up the 2nd goal in extra time. Switzerland is also a legit defensive team and while they gave up two goals in their last match they already knew they would be advancing out of group play.
Sweden uses a 4-4-2 formation and Sebastian LArsson, who is the vice-captain of the squad, is injured and may not play in this match. Also, Seb LArsson is suspended and will not play. Gustav Svensson may take his place and Marcus Berg and Ola Toivonen are the two attackers up front. Andreas Granqvist led the squad with two goals in group play and he is a fullback. The Swedes play well as a team and their best chance to Scoremay have to come on the counter-attack. However, that may be difficult to do since the Swiss have the advantage in the midfield.
Switzerland captain Stephan Lichtsteiner and Fabian SChar will not play in this round of 16 match because of suspension and Steven Zuber, who has been more than solid in the Tournament has been sick and the Swiss are hoping he will be on the pitch.
Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka lead the squad and both scored a goal in group play. Shakiri is working on a yellow card and he must be cautious as with one more he will miss the quarterfinals, if the Swiss win, which would be a big blow.
The Swiss have to hark back to the 1-1 draw against Brazil and play well in the midfield like they did in that match. They don’t have a great attack, but get scoring chances from the middle of the field where they have the advantage in this big match.
Last Three Matches
6/18/18 Sweden 1 South Korea
6/23/18 Germany 2 Sweden 1
6/27/18 Mexico 0 Sweden 3
6/17/18 Brazil 1 Switzerland 1
6/22/18 Serbia 1 Switzerland 2
6/27/18 Switzerland 2 Costa Rica 2
Prediction: Both teams come into this knockout stage with confidence with good reason. Sweden won their tough group and Switzerland held Brazil at bay in their biggest group match. The Swiss advantage in the midfield is key in this match, which will be a defensive one. Don’t look for an offensive onslaught and Switzerland will break through for one goal and that will be enough, as they will win 1-0 advancing and sending the Swedes home.