Sweden v England
England struggled through the round of 16, all the way to penalties against Colombia on Tuesday and that left many players struggling for fitness.
The Three Lions live dangerously with substitute, Jamie Vardy, out while Ashley Young, Dele Alli and Kyle Walker will also need to shake off minor injuries ahead of the quarter finals clash with Sweden.
Meanwhile, Sweden, will have Sebastian Larsson returning to the starting XI after missing their 1-0 win over Switzerland through suspension. However, they lost Mikael Lustig to a one-match ban.
A few changes may ring on the side of Sweden with Albin Ekdal the major doubt with a foot injury. Jimmy Durmaz will also require a late fitness test due to a hip problem.
Sweden have kept 3-clean sheets in the four matches, while England are the only team left in the competition yet to keep a clean sheet at the 2018 World Cup.
England do not have a great record against Sweden in competitive matches, with only win in the last eight.
This England side may be the cheapest wither through the tides that saw out the likes of Spain, Portugal, name it, but the art for a way through rests with the Mental toughness Gareth Southgate has built around the team.
Verdict:Play safe, go for both teams to score, but you can still trust England to progress if you strong willed.
Russia v Croatia
One of the sides, that weren’t expected at this level, The Hosts, have stood the test of time and are currently serious candidates for the Championship. Russia eliminated one of the pre-tournament favorites Spain via penalty shoot-outs but will need to change tactics going against a mentally stronger Croatia.
They played a 3-man defense against Spain and managed to pull it off but could be in a bigger danger should they fail to adjust.
Yuri Zhirkov is a major doubt for this quarter-final fixture and could pave way for Fedor Kudryashov at left-back as a result.
Igor Smolnikov returns from suspension but Fedor Smolov, Aleksandr Golovin, Ilya Kutepov, Roman Zobnin and Yuri Gazinskiy are all one booking away from suspension.
Playing with caution or nothing to lose?
Croatia, one of the teams with a high competitive edge were shocked to a penalty shoot-out against Denmark at the round of 16. Are we finally ecperiencing a balance of power at this moment? One would ask.
Ivan Strinic remains a doubt but not we should expect a usual starting XI.
Like Russia, Ante Rebic, Rakitic, Marcelo Brozovic, Mandzukic, Marko Pjaca, Sime Vrsaljko, Vedran Corluka and Tin Jedvaj are all one booking away from a one-match ban.
Verdict:Still play safe, go for both team to score, however, Croatia still stand a higer chance of progressing.
Here is a summary of more games in the Value category.
Avondale Heights SC – Dandenong Thunder – 1
Machida Zelvia v Tochigi SC – 1
Tokyo Verdy v Fagiano Okayama – 1X
Sydney United v Hakoah – 1
Los Angeles FC v Orlando City SC – 1
IK Sirius FK v Malmo Ff – 2
Persepam Madura United v PSMS Medan – 1
Persib Bandung v PSIS Semarang – 1
Orange County SC v Los Angeles Galaxy II – 1
Sporting Kansas City v Toronto FC – 1
EL Nacional v Delfin SC – 1X
Real Salt Lake v FC Dallas – X2
Deportivo Cuenca v UN. Catolica Del Ecuador
FAR North Queensland FC v Olympic FC – X2
Geylang International v Hougang United FC – 1X
CSKA Moscow v FC Copenhagen – 1X
IBV Vestmannaeyjar v Breidablik Kopavogur – X2
Philadelphia Union v Atlanta United FC – X2
Las Vegas Lights v Saint Louis Fc – X2
Home United v Tampines Rovers – 1X
Ottawa Fury FC v Pittsburgh Riverhounds – X2
ODD BK v Lillestrøm SK – 1X
Armadale SC v Balcatta
Gyeongnam FC v Pohang Steelers
Ac Kajaani v KPV Kokkola
Ansan Greeners FC v Asan Mugunghwa
Mito Hollyhock v Kamatamare Sanuki
Moreton Bay United FC v Western Pride
ECU Joondalup v Inglewood United
Penn FC v Bethlehem Steel FC
NOTE: GG – Both teams to score, 1 – Home Team win, 2 – Away Team loss, X – Draw, 1X – Home team’s win or Draw, X2 – A draw or Away team’s win.
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