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Southgate picked England’s path but now praises Sweden

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Southgate picked England's path but now praises Sweden


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05 Jul 2018, 18:02 IST

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SAMARA, Russia (AP) — Having deliberately suggested England into what is extensively thought to be the weaker part of the World Cup’s knockout bracket, trainer Gareth Southgate is now casting the impending quarterfinal in opposition to Sweden as “bloody difficult.”

Southgate despatched out a team of reserves who misplaced 1-Zero to Belgium of their group-stage finale, and after each groups survived scares within the around of 16, Belgium now faces Brazil whilst England meets a Sweden facet that will get some distance much less recognize.

But Sweden were given to this similar level by means of taking part in good and unselfish football.

“Sweden are a team I respect hugely,” Southgate stated Wednesday. “You know we’ve not got a good record against them, I think we’ve always underestimated them. They’ve got good players and they’ve got a clear way of playing. It’s bloody difficult to play against. They are greater than the sum of their parts more often than not.”

The two groups meet Saturday at Samara Stadium for the precise to advance to a semifinal in opposition to Russia or Croatia.

England and Sweden have met two times prior to now in World Cup play, a 2-2 attract 2006 and a 1-1 attract 2002. Overall, England has received simply two of the final 15 conferences.

The final was once an exhibition in 2012. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored 4 instances to steer the Swedes to a Four-2 victory in Stockholm. Ibrahimovic is retired from world soccer now, and whilst Sweden has since solid a stout defensive id, its post-Zlatan assault hasn’t impressed concern in warring parties.

The English are coming off a demanding but in the end euphoric round-of-16 sport in opposition to Colombia. After giving up an injury-time equalizer that pressured a 1-1 draw, England triumphed Four-Three in a shootout.

It was once a morale booster for the Three Lions, who have been knocked out of 3 World Cups on consequences since 1990. Harry Kane stated the younger English facet grew up so much in that fit.

“It shows the togetherness, shows the character,” Kane stated. “We spoke about it before, but these are the moments you really see it.”

England went 2-1-Zero within the organization degree to complete 2nd to Belgium. The around was once highlighted by means of Kane’s hat trick in a 6-1 thrashing of Panama. Kane leads the sector in Russia with six targets.

Sweden completed atop its organization in Russia to stand Switzerland within the opening fit of the knockout around. Emil Forsberg scored on a deflection within the 66th minute of a grinding 1-Zero victory.

Coach Janne Andersson was once requested in a while if Sweden has been underrated on the World Cup.

“I think you’ll have to ask everyone else that question. We know that we are a good team. We’ve earned our success we know how we’ve got this far,” he stated. “What other teams and countries think about that, that’s not terribly interesting.”

BABY BOOM: Fabian Delph is again with England after leaving Russia for the beginning of his 3rd kid. He and his spouse Natalie welcomed their daughter on Wednesday.

Delph left the group following its 1-Zero loss to Belgium within the organization degree finale and neglected the fit in opposition to Colombia.

Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist and his spouse predict a kid any day now, but the middle again says he would possibly not take a seat out the fit in opposition to England.

MISSING MAN: Sweden defender Mikael Lustig would possibly not play Saturday as a result of yellow card accumulation. The proper again gathered his 2nd yellow card of the event for a tug on Switzerland striker Josip Drmic within the first part of Tuesday’s fit in St. Petersburg.

The group may have Sebastian Larsson again from a ban, on the other hand, and the preserving midfielder will have to move directly again into the beginning lineup.

NOD TO THE SKIPPER: Sweden’s lovers hung round following the victory over Switzerland, chanting the trainer’s identify. Andersson got here again out to the sector for a curtain name to recognize them.

“Well, of course it’s sort of a surreal feeling to be standing in St. Petersburg on the pitch afterward and a number of people are calling out my name. That’s quite extraordinary and quite strange,” he stated.

HISTORY: England received its handiest World Cup in 1966 and hasn’t made it to the semifinals since 1990 in Italy, when it was once eradicated on consequences by means of West Germany en path to a fourth-place end. Sweden final made it to the semifinals in 1994 but fell 1-Zero to Brazil in Pasadena. The Swedes have by no means received a World Cup name.

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AP Sports Writer Steve Douglas in St. Petersburg contributed to this document.

More AP World Cup protection: www.apnews.com/tag/WorldCup .

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