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Sweden ws Switzerland preview and prediction

 

The final day of 2018 World Cup Round of 16 matches takes place on Tuesday.  In the afternoon we have an intriguing game between two of the outsiders for the tournament, Sweden and Switzerland.

While both teams thought they had a decent chance of reaching this stage of the tournament, being drawn against each other gives them an amazing opportunity to progress to the quarter-final of a World Cup .

You must go back to 1994 to find the last time Sweden reached the quarter-final of the World Cup and 1954 to find Switzerland’s last and only quarter-final match.

Sweden came through their group with an excellent 3-0 win over Mexico in their final game. Having started the tournament with a 1-0 victory over South Korea, Sweden began the match with Germany 3 points clear of the defending champions.

Sweden then met Germany in their second group game and took a shock lead.  However, Germany fought back and sealed a last gasp win with ten men thanks to a great free-kick from Toni Kroos.  It would have been easy for Swedish heads to drop but they responded brilliantly in their third and final game to defeat Mexico 3-0 and win the group.

Switzerland started their 2018 World Cup campaign with a difficult match against one of the favourites, Brazil. Despite falling a goal behind, Switzerland battled back into the match and scored from a corner to equalise.  The Swiss held on for a good point.

The second game was always going to be key against Serbia and Switzerland fell behind in the opening exchanges.  However, the Swiss showed their fighting spirit to come back into the match and secured the win with a fantastic late run and finish from Xherdan Shaqiri.

With Brazil beating Serbia in the final round of matches, Switzerland knew towards the end of their game against Costa Rica they had qualified.  Having taken the lead twice, Switzerland allowed Costa Rica back into the match but may have taken their eye off the ball knowing they had already secured their place in the Round of 16.

Looking ahead to the team news and Sweden will be without experienced midfielder Sebastian Larsson, who is suspended.  That could mean a place in the starting XI for Gustav Svensson or Oscar Hiljemark.  The remainder of the team is likely to be that which started against Mexico.

Switzerland also have suspensions to deal with and they will be without Stephan Lichtsteiner and Fabian Schar.  This is a big blow for the Swiss in defence and Johan Djourou and Nico Elvedi could come into the team.  Breel Embolo may keep his place in the team having started on the left against Costa Rica.

This is a game both teams will feel they have a good chance of winning. However, coming off the back of their big win against Mexico plus the players missing in the Swiss defence, Sweden have the slight advantage and could win the game to progress to the quarter-final.