“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.”
Southgate’s Fashion Trend
Have you noticed England Manager Gareth 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.
England’s Starting Lineup
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)
Sweden’s Starting Lineup
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)
Play It Safe
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.)
Own Goal Leads the Tournament
Harry Kane still leads the official race for the Golden Boot, given to the tournament’s top scorer, with six goals. But he trails the unofficial scoring race to the surprisingly prolific Own Goal, which ran its tally to a record 11 when Fernandinho put one into his own net against Belgium on Friday.
Good News, Bad News for Sweden
Bad news: Sweden loses defender Mikael Lustig because of a yellow-card suspension. Good news: It gets midfielder Sebastian Larsson back from suspension.
England vs. Sweden Top Story Lines
• Sweden and England have met regularly over the years. Their most recent competitive game came in the 2012 Europrean Championship. England won, 3-2. One player from that team, Danny Welbeck, is still in the squad; he had the game winning goal that day. Andreas Granqvist, Mikael Lustig and Martin Olsson all played for Sweden.
• England coughed up a lead late in its knockout game with Colombia, but rallied in a penalty kick shootout, historically the team’s bête noire.
• England hasn’t made it to the semifinals of the World Cup since 1990; this is its third quarterfinal since then. This is Sweden’s first trip to the quarterfinals since the 1994 Cup in the United States, where it placed third.
• Harry Kane leads the chase for the World Cup Golden Boot. He currently leads all scorers with six goals; three of them were penalties.
• Sweden surprisingly won a tough group that included Germany, Mexico and South Korea, then upended Switzerland, 1-0. Its top scorer is its penalty taker, Andreas Granqvist.
• England has nine goals, tied for second behind Belgium. Sweden has surrendered just two goals, tied for second behind Brazil.