It is set to be a battle of tenacity and grit between two of the most organized teams at the tournament.
The Yellow of Sweden will take on the Red of Switzerland in the Round of 16 match between these two very capable sides. Switzerland have the chance of equalling their best ever World Cup performance with a win.
Sweden, on the other hand, are looking like a very dangerous side and are definitely not lucky to be there. They knocked out Italy and Netherlands on the way to the World Cup and thwarted a talented Mexican side 3-0 in their journey to the Round of 16. The Blue-Yellow are an interesting side with hard-working players all over the pitch and one that will cause a lot of problems to the Rossocrociati.
About the teams
Switzerland finished second in their group behind Brazil on five points. After winning their game against Serbia, Switzerland showed a lot of character and strength to hold the Brazilian side at bay and were unlucky to drop points against Costa Rica.
Granit Xhaka, Velon Behrami, and Xhedran Shaqiri have been the stars so far of this exciting side and much of Switzerland’s attacking prowess comes from their wingers Zuber and Shaqiri. Manuel Akanji has been a revelation at this World Cup and his composure against seasoned players has been joyful to watch. Yann Sommer will look to be on top form again to help this already solid defence.
Sweden topped their group with six points and managed two victories in the process. They almost toppled defending champions Germany and beat the other two teams in Mexico and South Korea comfortably. Ola Toivonen and Marcus Berg have been one of the most underrated strike partnerships in this World Cup as both the players are perfectly complimented by Emil Forsberg and Viktor Claesson playing down the wings.
Sweden are quite balanced if you take a look at their defensive record in this World Cup campaign, as they’ve conceded just two goals so far and a lot of credit has to go to their captain Andreas Granqvist who‘s vocal leadership has helped the team massively.
The venue for this fixture will be the Saint Petersburg Stadium which houses 64,468 people at full capacity. The stadium will also play host to the Semi-finals and the third-place match.
Sweden: Olsen, Lustig, Lindelof, Granqvist, Augustinsson, Forsberg, Ekdal, Larsson, Claesson, Toivonen, & Berg.
Switzerland: Sommer, Lichtsteiner, Akanji, Schar, Rodriguez, Xhaka, Behrami, Shaqiri, Dzaemaili, Zuber, & Seferovic.
What to Expect
The teams are not fearful of attacking and that element of fearlessness is what sets them apart. Both the teams are equally solid at the back and the difference between the two teams could be down to who is more clinical upfront, when chances present themselves.
Khel Now predicts
Sweden 2 – 1 Switzerland