England vs Sweden Preview

England vs Sweden Preview: The Bronze Medal Is Up For Grabs

There may not be a world title to fight for, but with England vs Sweden, the third and fourth place playoff, there’s a lot of pride and a sought-after bronze medal at stake.

Although the honour of calling themselves a World Cup finalist or world champion may have eluded England and Sweden this time, their campaigns, which have proven to be better than 20 other teams in the tournament, are still something to be proud of.

The English always knew the odds were slightly against them when they were drawn against defending champions the United States, but it didn’t stop them from believing in their ability to cause an upset and book their place in their first final.

Unfortunately for them, the dream wouldn’t be realised this year as the Americans showed why they’re the best team in the world and have lifted the trophy three times since 1991. Despite a strong display, that saw them finishing with a better possession percentage, it ended 2-1 in favour of the North Americans in what was a rollercoaster encounter. Read More

Netherlands vs Sweden

Netherlands vs Sweden Preview: A Tale of Two Tens

If we had been told before the tournament that Netherlands vs Sweden would be one of the semi-finals at the Women’s World Cup, we might not have been too surprised. But if we were told that they would have knocked out Japan, Germany and Canada between them on the way to the semi-final, we might have started to wonder what had happened in the competition.

Of course, the Netherlands are current European Champions and Sweden did make it through to the final of the World Cup in 2003 so these two teams are not without their pedigree. But neither side was entirely impressive in the run-up to this year’s tournament.

The Netherlands relied on playoff games against Denmark and Switzerland to cement their place and, although they qualified comfortably, Sweden also slumped to disappointing defeats to both Italy and Portugal – both teams they should have beaten comfortably – within the last year.

The comparisons do not end here. Both Sweden and the Netherlands play similar iterations of a 4-3-3 which can sometimes looks much closer to a 4-2-3-1. This ambiguity is determined by the way the number 10 functions within the system. Read More

Germany vs Sweden Preview

Germany vs Sweden Preview: The World Cup’s Meanest Defence Will Win

The business end of this gruelling Women’s World Cup 2019 is upon us, with the quarter-finals up next. Germany vs Sweden sees two European heavyweights meet at Roazhon Park on Saturday to decide who will face Italy or Netherlands in the semi-final.

While both teams have looked good in possession and scored a lot of goals, it’s the Germans who look unbeatable at the back, having yet to concede a goal in this tournament. The Swedes have been good, but have shipped three thus far.

Hence this tie could boil down to how Sweden’s attackers break down a resilient German defence. If they fail in that, then Germany would have a very good chance as they haven’t failed to score in a single game yet. Read More

Sweden vs Canada

Sweden vs Canada Preview: It’s Not Winter, But Expect Fire

They have history between them, but mostly in winter sports like curling, ice hockey or skiing. Sweden vs Canada will be a particularly interesting clash in Paris, because it brings to the grass a rivalry that is big on ice.

The Swedes lost 2-0 to the top-ranked Americans on Thursday to decide the Group F winner. Canada got a wake-up call, paying for a slow start and some defensive lapses with a 2-1 loss to the European champion Netherlands in their final group stage game.

“I know if we play to our best, we can beat everyone and that includes anyone who we may face in the next rounds,” said Kenneth Heiner-Møller, Canada’s Head Coach. “We were trying to win this match ‎because that is what we do and we do very well. ‎We need to learn from this game, shift quickly and focus on the next task. We are only looking forward.”

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Sweden vs USA

Sweden vs USA Preview: Two Powerhouses Collide

Both the United States and Sweden are among the group of favourites that could realistically win the World Cup. And both are quite similar in their general style of football, which became obvious on the first two matchdays.

Since the discrepancies in terms of physicality are still somewhat significant at this year’s tournament, teams such as the United States and Sweden seem to have a huge advantage over “smaller” sides. Both are able to bully those who cannot keep up with them in terms height, speed and athleticism in general. Read More

Sweden 0-2 England: Jordans key to victory

In their first quarter final appearance at a FIFA World Cup since losing to Portugal on penalties in 2006 in Germany, England ensured that the dream of football coming home is alive and well after a 2-0 win against Sweden. A fantastic display once more by Jordan Pickford along with two headed goals by Harry Maguire and Dele Alli meant that the Three Lions are in the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup for the first time since the 1990 edition.

A goalkeeper who is capable of playing with his feet helped Gareth Southgate’s team to build from the back, and Pickford made 20 passes (13 of which came from inside his area). Not only that, against Sweden, England kept their first clean sheet of the entire tournament thanks to his impressive saves. That and coming off the back of a first ever penalty shootout win at a World Cup can only help the team grow in confidence.

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The stats don’t lie! Sweden had a very good World Cup.

In interviews after their 2-0 defeat to England, Andreas Granqvist, Emil Forsberg and the other Swedish players gave a similar message. They were disappointed, feeling England had got the better of them on the day, but they were also proud of what they had achieved.

And so they should be. Granqvist, in particular, has put in amazing performances at this World Cup.

After the quarter-final match, Granqvist joined three other of our top five ranked players (all three from Brazil) on the journey home. His defence and his power driving the team forward remains something he should be proud of. He is the foundation on which Sweden were built.

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World Cup 2018, Last 16 Review

While we had been producing daily reviews during the group stage, in the first knock-out round we had writers covering every match so it wasn’t necessary. You can find our ‘Round of 16’ collection here, and we’ll just take a quick look at some of the overall top performers here.

The Sergios dominated at the top of the charts; Ramos of Spain earned the most points in total, whereas Aguero of Argentina topped the points per minute ladder.

Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed something in Ramos’ dashboard – namely a penalty scored in the shootout. These go into the players’ tallies, so anyone whose side didn’t settle their tie in 120 minutes can have a bit of an advantage here.

Unless they miss that is. Right, Jordan?

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Sweden 1-0 Switzerland: the Swedes can deliver more goals

The pattern is familiar throughout football. A player shoots over and the crowd sighs, the people watching at home swear and the TV commentators say that “at this level” the finishing has to be better.

This was the picture for Sweden in the first half against Switzerland, as it had been in their first half against South Korea and Mexico. Sweden had created chances but they hadn’t been converted. The worst culprits, singled out by the pundits at halftime, were Emil Forsberg and Marcus Berg. Why do they keep missing or having their “weak” attempts saved? And quite soon the talk turns to a certain rather tall gentleman who now plays his club football in Los Angeles. The cry is the same as it has been since 2002: “in with Zlatan”!

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Sweden vs. Switzerland: make sure Durmaz plays

Despite the prospect of their first playoff-stage match at a big international tournament since 2002, many of headlines in Sweden continue to revolve around Jimmy Durmaz and the tackle that led to a free kick and goal for Germany in the final minutes of Sweden’s second match.

Racism has changed a lot over the last decades. It used to be simple and blatant. It came in the form of simple name calling and stereotypes of players being lazy or not committed to ‘their’ country. And alot of the racism seen on Durmaz Instagram account after the Germany match has been of this old-fashioned form: calling him a terrorist because he has a beard. Ridiculous stuff like that.

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