2018-07-07 10:27:02
England vs. Sweden: World Cup 2018 Live

10:27, July 07 365 0

England meets Sweden in the 2018 World Cup quarterfinals in Samara. Both teams are trying to break semifinal droughts of more than two decades.

• Refresh here for live World Cup updates and analysis from Russia.

• Brazil Bows Out: Is the magic gone?

How to watch: In the U.S., Fox and Telemundo have the broadcast at 10 a.m. Eastern, but you can stream it here.

England getting the better of the play. A shot from a good position by Trippier draws a save by Robin Olsen.

Raheem Sterling dribbles around trying to create some space but rifles it into a defender’s midsection. England wants a hand ball, but it’s not there.

England comes right back and gets into a dangerous spot. Ashley Young sends a cross into the box, but Sweden is there to dispose of it.

Andrew Das: Not a lot to stir the imagination in this one so far, though as highlights go, England ripping a shot safely wide counts for something.

Raheem Sterling of England goes on a long run, the best of the game. Approaching the penalty box, Kane picks up the ball and sends off a low rocket, which goes just wide.

Viktor Claesson has a little open space and decides to let one fly, but it’s over the bar. A better shot there would’ve been trouble for England’s keeper Jordan Pickford.

Andrew Das: Gotta be honest: Fifteen minutes in and this game has all the action of an English league game with everyone but the English and the Swedes removed. And I’m not sure any of us would sit down to watch that game.

England’s Kyle Walker tries a long-range chip, but it’s right to keeper Robin Olsen. Still, it was a shot.

Kane tries to lead Sterling with a pass, but it’s a little too far in front of him. This game so far lacks the crispness of yesterday’s Brazil-Belgium thriller.

Andrew Das: I hope everyone is enjoying their loooong look at the midfield circle in Samara. Feels like it hasn’t been out of frame yet.

A steal by Dele Alli seems to set up England for something, but he passes it to nobody.

A lot of midfield passing and some bad through balls has added up to nothing at all like a chance so far for either side.

Andrew Das: Cagey start for both sides in the first few minutes, as one would expect. You can’t necessarily win the game early, but you can do something dumb to lose it.

Sweden’s defense looks stingy already. Jordan Henderson sends in a nice lofted ball, but Sweden deals with it easily.

England in red, Sweden in bright yellow. Which team will break its 20-year-plus semifinal drought?

England’s backup striker Jamie Vardy, who has been nursing a groin injury, is on the bench in sweatpants. So don’t expect to see him today.

England’s lineup is completely unsurprising; that’s the team they’ve run out, or finished with, at every big moment. But they’ll need to be wary of just what caught Brazil a bit last night: the widespread expectation that they have this in the bag. Sweden isn’t full of stardust, but they’re a solid unit that knows what it is: no more, no less. And at some point people are going to have to acknowledged they’re a pretty good team. It’s hard to get to the quarterfinals. Just ask Germany. Or Argentina. Or Portugal. Or ........

What’s that song coming from the England supporters? It’s “Three Lions” by the Lightning Seeds and the comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner, a song written for the 1996 European Championship, held in England. Its repeated refrain is “football’s coming home,” a reference to England being the cradle of the sport. The lyrics refer to “30 years of hurt,” the length of time since England’s win at the 1966 World Cup. That’s now up to 52 years of hurt.

England is unchanged from the team that beat Colombia in extra time in the round of 16. There were mild injury concerns over Dele Alli and Ashley Young, but both are apparently OK and listed on the team sheet.

Goalkeepers: 1 Jordan Pickford (Everton)

Defenders: 6 Harry Maguire (Leicester), 5 John Stones (Manchester City), 12 Kieran Trippier (Tottenham), 2 Kyle Walker (Manchester City), 18 Ashley Young (Manchester United)

Midfielders: 20 Dele Alli (Tottenham), 8 Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), 7 Jesse Lingard (Manchester United)

Forwards: 9 Harry Kane (Tottenham), 10 Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

Goalkeeper: 1 Robin Olsen (Copenhagen)

Defenders: 3 Victor Lindelof (Manchester United), 4 Andreas Granqvist (Krasnador), 6 Ludwig Augustinsson (Werder Bremen), 16 Emil Krafth (Bologna)

Midfielders: 7 Sebastian Larsson (Hull), 8 Albin Ekdal (Hamburg), 10 Emil Forsberg (RB Leipzig), 17 Viktor Claesson (Krasnador)

Forwards: 9 Marcus Berg (Al Ain), 20 Ola Toivonen (Toulouse)

England Manager Gareth Southgate, a veteran of past England failures as a player, has impressed upon his players that they control their destiny, that previous losses by previous generations of players should have no bearing on what they can achieve in Russia.

“We’ve spoken to the players about writing their own stories,” he said after beating Colombia in the quarterfinals. “Tonight they showed they don’t have to conform to what’s gone before. They have created their own history, and I don’t want to go home yet.”

England (1966) and France (1998) are the only past World Cup champions remaining in the tournament.

England is the 2-1 favorite for the game. But why bet on the winner when there’s so much other action available? The over/under for the game is 2 goals. Want to bet a football-style point spread? England is a half-goal favorite (with betting on the first 90 minutes only). You can bet on the first goal scorer: Harry Kane is the 3-1 favorite, followed by Rashford and Sterling and only then the Swedes, led by Berg at 12-1. (Betting on sports is not legal in all jurisdictions. Please consult your local statutes before placing a bet.)

Sweden Manager Janne Andersson said Friday that his team is an open book.

“I think there was a coach who once said about their team that ‘they’re quite easy to analyze but quite difficult to beat,’” Andersson told reporters in Samara. “I think that’s a right description for us.”

“It shouldn’t be that difficult to get an idea of what we do,” he added. “The surprise is probably that we’re terribly consistent.”

Have you noticed Southgate’s sideline gear? He wears a vest (or waistcoat) without a jacket. And people are taking notice of Southgate’s style: Stores in England have reported a run on waistcoats (as reported in every single British newspaper). The future popularity of the waistcoat may well be determined by 22 men on the field today. Should Sweden eliminate England, the brief waistcoat vogue may be swiftly forgotten.

Six players risk missing a potential semifinal if they pick up a yellow card today. Four are from England — Jordan Henderson, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jesse Lingard, Kyle Walker — and two are from Sweden: Viktor Claesson and Albin Ekdal. FIFA wipes out yellows after the quarterfinals, ensuring top players no longer miss the final for getting a second yellow in the semifinals, but ones from today still count. (A red still results in a ban, no matter when it comes.)