Sweden vs. Switzerland 2018 World Cup: A long drought will end for one team
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Sweden vs. Switzerland 2018 World Cup: A long drought will end for one team

October 9, 2019


Sweden’s fans head for the stadium. (Anton Vaganov / Reuters) Sweden vs. Switzerland St Petersburg Arena, St. Petersburg No one is expecting anything other than a rather unexciting defensive battle in this round of 16 match Which, given how this World Cup has gone, likely means it will be a wildly entertaining, high-scoring affair Switzerland’s Breel Embolo explained his team’s learning curve like this: “Two years ago, we lost to Poland in the last 16 at Euro 2016 We learned from that. The fact we’ve been able to come from behind twice here in Russia shows we’re ready for more ” Switzerland dodged a bullet when Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka were fined rather than suspended for celebrating their goals against Serbia with a tribute to the Albanian flag Still, Swiss captain Stephan Lichtsteiner (Arsenal), also fined after the Serbia game, and Fabian Schar will miss the match because of previous yellow cards Sweden’s Sebastian Larsson is suspended, which means Gustav Svensson of the Seattle Sounders may start in midfield [Later: Colombia and England vie for the last quarterfinal spot] Sweden manager Janne Andersson told reporters that “every player on the pitch is a defender” and that they “relate to each other and not to where opponents are We don’t run to chase our opponents.” So don’t say you weren’t warned about the stylistic challenges ahead  “We know what we have done before and that in football nothing is impossible if you work really hard,” Ludwig Augustinsson told reporters Like Switzerland, Sweden has been working toward this moment. “This is something that we have built during the last two years and we completely believe in what we are doing,” Larsson said “We show time after time that we can make it difficult for any opponent that we meet We work hard and feel very comfortable doing it.” Sweden has not advanced to the final eight since 1994 Switzerland hasn’t been a quarterfinalist since 1954. One of those droughts will end Tuesday The lineups Baby watch Sweden’s Andreas Granqvist may be a little preoccupied because his wife, Sophie, is due to give birth to their second child in Sweden on game day He’ll cross his fingers that perhaps the doctors’ calculations were off or that the baby has other ideas about being born on this day “It’s hard to go home when you have a last-16 game to play,” Granqvist told reporters “So far, nothing has happened at home. We know how the situation is — my wife is very strong and she has many of her nearest and dearest around her ” Want smart analysis, opinions, viewing guides and more from the World Cup? Sign up for our month-long newsletter Every match day through the final July 15. Switzerland’s Embolo traveled home for the birth of his child but is back with the team now, although he is not starting When: Tuesday, 10 a.m. Eastern. How to watch on TV: Fox Sports 1. How to stream online: Fox Sports and the Fox Soccer Match Pass apps and FoxSportsGo com. How to watch in Spanish: Telemundo. How to watch in Canada: Bell Media’s TSN and CTV networks, the TSN GO app and TSN ca/live. What’s next The winner plays the England-Colombia winner in a quarterfinal at 10 a m. Saturday in Samara (Fox). [Here’s the full bracket and schedule] Team profiles Sweden  Previous results: Defeated South Korea, 1-0 Lost to Germany, 2-1. Defeated Mexico, 3-0. Best World Cup finish: Second place, 1958 Notable: This is Sweden’s 50th World Cup game, making it only the 11th team with that many Only Mexico has played in more World Cup games without winning the tournament. FIFA world ranking: 24 ELO world ranking: 17. Switzerland Previous results: Drew with Brazil, 1-1. Defeated Serbia, 2-1 Drew with Costa Rica, 2-2. Best World Cup finish: Quarterfinals, 1934, 1938 and 1954 Notable: Eleven of Switzerland’s last 14 World Cup goals have been scored in the second half Four of its five goals this year have come in the second half. FIFA world ranking: 6 ELO world ranking: 11. Players to watch Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka drew extra attention when they were fined rather than suspended for their tribute to the Albanian flag after scoring against Serbia Shaqiri, who has a goal and an assist and leads Switzerland in shots, has been linked to Liverpool this summer  Andreas Granqvist leads Sweden in the post-Zlatan Ibrahimovic era; he has two goals in this tournament Read more about the World Cup: Nigeria captain John Obi Makel kept his father’s kidnapping a secret before match with Argentina Russia goes into the bunker vs Spain, and emerges with a huge World Cup upset Croatia pushes past Denmark on penalty kicks to reach World Cup quarterfinals No Ronaldo? No Messi? No problem: Nine names to know for the rest of the World Cup Exit Lionel Messi, enter Kylian Mbappe as France powers ahead in World Cup Ranking the eliminated World Cup teams by sympathy factor

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