Sweden vs Switzerland preview, betting tips and prediction
0-0 correct score @ 5/1 with Betfair
Sweden bounced back perfectly from a crushing last-minute defeat to Germany, sweeping aside Mexico in their final group game to top the table. They’re a spirited side and this was the proof. With no clear star in their ranks, this Swedish side is one of the better groups at the World Cup, one that is better than the sum of its parts. A physical outfit, they will battle and harry a Swiss team that will be outfought if they’re not prepared for a battle. Set-pieces will be key.
Switzerland made it to the knockout stages unbeaten, proving that they can take on the very best with their opening game draw against Brazil. While they will naturally be the more defensive side in an encounter like that, they have attacking players with enough quality to catch out any side guilty of piling forward. Sweden certainly won’t do that so this could be a tense encounter, hopefully not reminiscent of Switzerland’s goalless draw with Ukraine at the same stage of the 2006 World Cup, an infamously dull clash.
Sweden have looked incredibly solid in this World Cup with one exception: The Germany defeat. They played superbly up until Germany equalised early in the second half, retreating into their own half and cowering, even after their opponents were reduced to ten men. But they won’t fear Switzerland and will be surging with confidence after a big win over Mexico.
Switzerland are a second-rate side in terms of star power but they’re incredibly solid as a unit. They came back to get results from losing positions against both Brazil and Serbia, winning their clash with the latter. So they can play a bit too. Xherdan Shaqiri is their most influential player in attack and Breel Embolo is something of an unknown quantity off the bench.
Sebastian Larsson is suspended for Sweden.
Swiss pair Stephan Lichtsteiner and Fabian Schar are also suspended.