Sweden vs Switzerland
Sweden did what was needed in the last round to progress further taking a victory over Mexico in the last round. Despite many not giving them much chances, they managed to make it in the end although the performance of Mexican players helped them a lot.
After a starting victory over South Korea 1:0 and a bit down hearting defeat in last moments against Germany 2:1, the Swedish national team responded really well when it was needed the most. At first they waited for their chances and got a goalless first halftime which didn't bring many exciting phases.
However, once they scored the first goal in 50th minute via Augustinsson, everything became much more easier for them. They were waiting their chances on counters mostly, while the game plan of the Mexicans slowly fall apart. Granqvist doubled up the lead from the penalty kick in 62nd minute, while an own goal sealed the victory for Sweden in 74th minute.
It was probably bigger margin victory than what they have deserved, but must be said that the Mexicans had some terrible phases and probably continued playing the game listening to what's happening at Germany vs South Korea game more. This way Sweden finished first with six points and three more than Germany and South Koreans.
Toivonen and Berg should lead their attack in a version of 4-4-2 formation. Midfielder Sebastian Larsson is injured for this one and might miss the rest of the World Cup in any way.
It could be said that Switzerland was bit lucky to progress their group, but overall surely it was more deserved than the rest of the opponents in their group Serbia and Costa Rica that didn't make it. They had a 1:1 draw in the opening game against Brazil.
That equalizer came with a foul inside the penalty box from their player, while the second match against Serbia saw the Swiss players reverting the scoreline and scoring the second goal in last minutes of the match. Serbs came too open in last moments trying to seal the three pointer and Swiss managed to exploit it. Their third round game against Costa Rica wasn't completely a must win one.
Knowing that the result of the second match goes into their favor, they didn't push for a victory completely against Costa Ricans ending the match with a 2:2 result. They however had the lead twice, thanks to goals from Dzemaili and Drmic, conceding equalizer in third minute of additional time via penalty kick and actually an own goal from their goalkeeper.
Gavranovic should lead attack of the Swiss side with 4-2-3-1 formation. Shaqiri, Dzemaili and Emboli should be offensive midfielders. Right back Stephan Lichtsteiner and central defender Fabian Schar are both suspended for this clash. Michal Lang and Johan Djorou are set to deputise. Midfielder Steven Zuber is set to miss due illness.
- Switzerland are undefeated in 16 of their last 17 matches (FIFA World Cup).
Few gave chances to Sweden to progress further but such performance against Mexico could have only boosted their morale. Switzerland didn't impress me so far and they won't have an easy pass here. Moreover they won't be able to exploit their fast midfielders on counters here and with two important defenders missing - I see plenty of value with rock stable Swedish team.
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Sweden vs Switzerland prediction
Sweden 0 Asian handicap @ 2.10 with Pinnacle