Who? Sweden - England
Where? Samara Arena, Samara
When? July 6, 16:00 (CET local time)
In 1994, Sweden made one of its best World Cup, as they reached the semi finals. Since then, Sweden played in seven major tournaments and their best achievements were the round of 16 in the World Cup and reaching quarter finals in the Euro. Now Sweden is facing an option to get one step forward in their way.
Sweden will play against England, a clash that make them fell a bit comfortable. They already played against England twice at the World Cup, in the group stage of 2002 and 2006, and in both occasions the games were tied. If you consider also games in the Euro, Sweden also won one of two matches between the teams. So Sweden's record against England is seems to be not bad at all.
Sweden will need to play without Mikael Lustig who got his second yellow card in the World Cup during the match against Switzerland. The one who will take his place as the right-back is Emil Krafth, that is only 23 years old but already have a lot of experience in international level. Even though he made only 14 international caps for the senior team, he began his international career in the U-21 team while he was just 17 years old.
After the defeat against Germany, nobody thought that Sweden could go so far. Now, after two games without conceding and with the strong defensive style, Sweden are close to make another amazing match.
Talks about football's coming home are just becoming louder. The game against Colombia finished with England's first ever win by penalty shootouts and now, if you want and if you don't, everyone believe that it's possible.
Once again, the main name is Harry Kane. In the previous match, Kane scored in a bit controversial penalty, but now it doesn't matter. Kane scored his 6th goal in the tournament, and now he is the best English scorer in a single World Cup alongside with Gary Lineker's 6 goals in 1986. If he will score once more, he will reach another milestone, as since 1978 only one player scored at least 7 goals in a single World Cup – it was Ronaldo in 2002.
After the winning against Colombia, Eric Dier became the hero of England. Dier, who scored the decisive penalty, is by somehow not the traditional English player. He didn't played in England until the age of 20, as he lived in Portugal and played in the youth teams of Sporting Lisbon. Yet, he played for England youth teams and even played together with Harry Kane in the U-20 World Cup.
England didn't had a great match against Colombia and they actually enjoyed a bad performance of Los Cafeteros. If England would not improve their playing level, they couldn't handle such a strong opponent as Sweden. England will have their chance to show the best of their skills, unless it will be the end of their dreams.