World Cup 2018 | England v Sweden Tips | 7thJuly 2018
The quarter-finals concludes on Saturday as England face Sweden in a mouth-watering in Samara. Lucas Swain-Britton shares his thoughts on the best betting angle.
I could probably write a thousand words on the Last 16 match between England and Colombia; it was a match of few chances, drama, fouls and witchcraft. Something strange must have happened for England to win a penalty shootout.
It’s fair to say Colombia took the result badly. After the match a petition demanding the match be replayed has received 200,000+ signatures and counting.
Whilst I’m incredibly bias as an England supporter, I think it’s nothing short of pathetic. They must all be Liverpool fans as well during the regular season.
Moving on to the quarter-finals. England are the much-fancied side heading into it and find themselves odds-on with the bookmakers. A lot has been made in the media of this side of the draw being favourable, but let’s not do a disservice to the Scandinavians.
The big factor on hand here is Sweden’s defensive ability. Janne Andersson’s team are organised, disciplined and have a fantastic leader in Andreas Granqvist. Whilst England may have the free-scoring Harry Kane in their arsenal, this won’t be straightforward.
On the topic of strikers, Marcus Berg is gagging to break his duck and get a World Cup goal. He’s amassed 13 shots on goal so far this tournament and is yet to find the net. He and Ola Toivonen have forged a good partnership, but it’s not a goal-laden one.
There’s a few factors on hand here you must consider when looking at the betting. Firstly there’s the dearth of goals quarter-finals tend to produce. Since 1998, the average goals per game at this stage of the tournament is a mere 1.8.
Another interesting statistic I came across was that of teams who get taken to penalties versus those who win in 90 minutes, just like England v Sweden. Since 1998, just once has the side who went to penalties scored first (1/13).
I don’t wish to read too much into that, however. This World Cup is unique in its nature of the draw and Sweden will be without Michael Lustig who picked up a suspension for this match.
There’s nothing that massively stands out to me price wise, so I’m going to be slightly ambitious with my selection. England have been drawing at half-time in all but one World Cup fixture and Sweden have conceded only against Germany. Therefore, I’m going for HT Draw as a single and a slightly more ambitious punt on Draw/England in the HT/FT market.