We have played 48 of 64 games at the World Cup, which means that the first round is now officially over and the 32 teams at the tournament have now been cut in half. After a well-deserved day off on Friday, the Round of 16 will commence on Saturday. We have a quick preview of all 8 games to be played in this round put together for you in another article, but for this piece, we are going to look at what is sure to be an intriguing match-up on Tuesday morning. There are some who would suggest that these two teams are a bit of a surprise package, but what cannot be argued is their deservedness in reaching this stage.
Sweden came out of a group that included the World Champions, while Switzerland was asked to navigate a tough group that included the favorites, Brazil. These two teams are actually pretty well matched, as they both play a similar style of football that is not always easy on the eye. It will be defense first for this pair, although both have proven that they can score goals when needed.
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Sweden v Switzerland Preview & 2018 World Cup Round of 16 Odds
“I took over the world, now Sweden is taking over the world” – Zlatan humble as always 👍 pic.twitter.com/SpKh7DGiIM
— Goal (@goal) 29 de junio de 2018
- When: Tuesday, July 3 at 10 AM EST
- Where: Saint-Petersburg Arena
- TV: FOX
- Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
- FIFA Odds: Sweden +209 / Switzerland +162 / Draw +102 (Total at 2 goals)
Why bet on Sweden?
- Confederation: UEFA
- Head coach: Janne Andersson
- Captain: Andreas Granqvist
- FIFA Ranking: 24
- World Cup Appearances: 12
There were many who believed that getting to the World Cup was good enough for this team, especially after they stunned Italy in the qualification playoff. The Swedes have proven that they belong though, starting the tournament with a 1-0 win over South Korea, before falling to a late, late goal against Germany in a 2-1 loss. A lot of teams would have folded after that defeat, but Sweden bounced back in a big way, downing Mexico 3-0 in a must-win game.
Confidence must now be riding very high in the Sweden camp, and you can bet that they believe they have a shot against a Switzerland side that does not score a lot of goals. This Swedish defense has been solid, and one more great performance from them could see this team move on to the quarter-finals.
- 1-R. Olsen
- 4-A. Granqvist
- 2-M. Lustig
- 3-V. Lindelöf
- 6-L. Augustinsson
- 7-S. Larsson
- 8-A. Ekdal
- 10-E. Forsberg
- 17-V. Claesson
- 9-M. Berg
- 20-O. Toivonen
Why bet on Switzerland?
- Confederation: UEFA
- Head coach: Vladimir Petković
- Captain: Stephan Lichtsteiner
- FIFA Ranking: 6
- World Cup Appearances: 11
Switzerland came into this tournament sitting at #6 in the FIFA rankings, yet they are a team that the average football fan knows very little about. What they have shown us here at the World Cup has been very good, and it all started with a surprise 1-1 draw with Brazil in the opener. That seemed to set the tone for this team, as they then went on to beat Serbia 2-1 on a late goal from Shaqiri.
That left the Swiss in a very good position heading into the final game of the group stage against bottom team Costa Rica, but they were made to work hard for a 2-2 draw that left them in second in the group. Switzerland is a team that also plays good defense, but they have given up a goal in each of their games at this tournament, which must be a concern.
- 1-Y. Sommer
- 2-S. Lichtsteiner
- 13-R. Rodríguez
- 22-F. Schär
- 5-M. Akanji
- 11-V. Behrami
- 15-B. Džemaili
- 14-S. Zuber
- 23-X. Shaqiri
- 10-G. Xhaka
- 9-H. Seferović
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
The Swedes are a big, physical team that is not afraid to throw their weight around, which could prove disruptive against the more talented Swiss. I am taking Sweden to win and move on in a close one.
Score: Sweden 2 – Switzerland 1
Keeping up with the 2018 World Cup
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