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World Cup

England eyes first semi final appearance since 1990

England last reached the World cup semis in 1990

FIFA World Cup 2018

Sweden vs England

Samara Arena, Russia

Saturday, 07-07-2018 @05:00pm

England will be hoping luck is on their side this time round at they bid to reach a first semi final at the world cup in 28 years.

The Three Lions defeated Cameroon 3-2 in extra time to reach the 1990 semis but have lost their last two quarter finals appearances to Brazil and Portugal in 2002 and 2006 respectively.

On Saturday, they come up against a Swedish side that has gone past this stage in all of their last three attempts.

The Scandinavians will be without right-back Mikael Lustig who is banned after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament and is expected to be replaced by Emil Krafth. However, midfielder Sebastian Larsson returns from suspension and will come back into the side for Gustav Svensson.

England forward Jamie Vardy is a major doubt because of the groin strain he suffered against Colombia. Ashley Young has overcome an ankle knock sustained in that game while Kyle Walker is fully recovered from cramp.

Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Kyle Walker are a booking away from missing a potential semi-final for England.

What they are saying ahead of the match:

Sweden head coach Janne Andersson.

“I grew up in the 70s and we used to follow English football.

“I grew up with this and England was my second nation.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to face them as head coach of the Swedish team.

“But football has developed a great deal.

“What they still have is the heart and the spirit of fighting and have always appreciated that but it’s not the England I grew up watching.

England manager Gareth Southgate.

“Although our team will be better in two years with more life experience, maybe the cards on injuries and things won’t fall as kindly and we won’t get this opportunity again.

“It’s dangerous if I start to get carried away, but I’m proud of the way we’re playing.

The winner between the two will take on either Croatia or hosts Russia who play later on Saturday.

Read Also: Russia keeps on dreaming but Croatia is out to end all that

Match Stats:

Sweden and England face each other for the 25th occasion and a third time at a World Cup and of the previous 24 matches the Scandinavians have won seven with the Three Lions triumphant on eight occasions.

Both World Cup meetings were group games which ended even. The sides drew their opening match 1-1 in 2002 and then 2-2 in the final game in 2006.

The last time the sides met was in a friendly in November 2012. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored all of Sweden’s goals in a 4-2 win.

Sweden are in the quarter-finals for the first time since 1994. They have progressed from three of their four previous quarter-finals (in 1938, 1958 and 1994) – their only defeat came against Germany in 1934.

The Swedes have made it out of the group stage of the World Cup in each of their last four tournaments.

They have won their last two World Cup games; they have only won three in a row once before, across 1950 and 1958.

Sweden have scored six goals at this World Cup, the same number as England’s Harry Kane has.

Eleven of their last 14 goals at the World Cup have been scored in the second half, including five of their six goals in Russia.

Robin Olsen has kept three clean sheets, a joint-record for a Swedish goalkeeper at a World Cup along with Ronnie Hellstrom in 1974 and Karl Svensson in 1958.

Marcus Berg has had 13 shots so far, the most of any player who is yet to score at this tournament. The last Swede to have more shots without scoring at a World Cup was Ove Grahn in 1974 (17 shots, 0 goals).

This is England’s ninth World Cup quarter-final. They have only progressed from two of their previous eight, in 1966 and 1990.

The previous two occasions that England reached the World Cup quarter-finals, in 2002 and 2006, they had a Swedish coach in Sven-Goran Eriksson.

England haven’t won a knockout match at a major tournament (excluding penalty shoot-outs) since beating Ecuador 1-0 in 2006 in the last 16.

The Three Lions are the only side left in the tournament who are yet to keep a clean sheet in their four matches. They have never gone five consecutive games in the competition without a shut-out.

No England player has scored more World Cup goals in a single tournament than the six Harry Kane has scored in 2018. Gary Lineker also netted six in 1986, winning the Golden Boot in the process.

Kane has scored with all six of his shots on target so far.

He is the first player to score three penalties at a World Cup since Bulgaria’s Hristo Stoichkov in 1994.

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