England vs Sweden
This entry was posted on Friday, July 6th, 2018
It’s Coming Home
Forget the sceptics. Forget Gareth Southgate warning how we tend to underestimate the Swedes. Forget 52 years of hurt. This, is as good a chance as an England team will ever get of reaching the semis of a World Cup.
This Sweden side are poor, and you don’t need to check the name of Seb Larsson on the teamsheet to see that. Having squeaked past South Korea, they then failed to beat a German team who played much of the match with ten men. And they didn’t even qualify properly, relying on a play-off to edge past a tedious Italy XI.
The only worry of course, is that England aren’t that great either. Tunisia was a fluke, barring the first dazzling 20 minutes. We then lost to Belgium without muddying a glove of Thibaut Courtois, and then cheated past a Colombia side bereft of their only world class player. And even then it took penalties.
The bigger concern other than being no good, is that England’s strength around set pieces and physical acumen is also Sweden’s. And their defenders should have sufficient nous not to attempt a gang rape on Harry Kane in the box.
We thus expect an England win, albeit not by much. 1-0 Harry Kane won’t win any awards for originality, but in a World Cup full of surprises, maybe it is time for some dull anglo-Scandanavian tedium. 9/1 with Paddy Power on that outcome is plenty to stick a nose in.