Best Odds: 28/17
Swede’s comfortable 3-0 win over Mexico will be a warning sign for the experienced Swiss side who will be looking to once again adopt a pragmatic approach in order to progress through and seal their place in the quarterfinals.
At the World Cup for the first time since 2006 and without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Swedish national team had not been given much chance ahead of the actual tournament.
The Swedes, however, did great to negotiate an extremely tough group which included the likes of Germany and Mexico and will now be flying into the knockout stage high on confidence. The Swedish side lost to Germany in the 95th but they defeated Mexico 3-0 in their last group game and will be looking to emulate the strong display if they want to maintain hopes of going through. Sweden have now progressed to the Last 16 in all of their World Cup appearances since 1990 but they are still some way off from at least repeating the third-place finish from 1994. Sweden is a talented side with a strong leader in Andreas Grandqvist who is an intimidating figure in the heart of defence. The 33-year-old is enjoying a fantastic tournament and will be expected to lead forward once again.
Sweden will greatly rely on the same roster with the exception of Hull midfielder Sebastian Larsson who is suspended for the occasion.
Gustav Svensson is likely to be called upon as Larsson’s replacement.
There is a good reason why Switzerland is one of the highest ranked side in FIFA World Rankings. Vladimir Petkovic’s team has been playing together for quite a while now and the Swiss definitely are a force to be reckoned with.
Tenacious, stubborn and strongly united, players of different backgrounds – both ethnic and cultural – enjoy a fantastic team spirit which leads them forward at this World Cup. Switzerland drew with Brazil in their first group stage match and did great to come from behind for a morale-boosting – and politically charged – victory against Serbia in the second match. With their place in the knockouts already sealed, the Swiss drew with Costa Rica which took the wind out of their sails a bit but we should be smart enough not to underestimate the Swiss determination and resolve.
Switzerland are without Fabian Schar and captain Stephan Lichtsteiner who are both serving one-game bans.
Michael Lang is expected to deputise for Schar whereas it will come down to either Nico Elvedi or Johan Djourou as Lichtsteiner replacement.
Key Factors to Consider
- Sweden and Switzerland meet for the first time at a major tournament
- Switzerland have yet to lose any of their last nine matches
- Sweden are playing their 50th World Cup game
- The Swedes reached knockouts at each of their last 4 World Cups
- The Swiss kept a clean sheet in one of their last 5 matches
Sweden are brimming with confidence following their compelling win over Mexico and could be expected to go hard from the off. Switzerland are no pushovers however and will bide their time looking to hit Sweden on the counter which is their most lethal weapon.
Best Odds: 28/17
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