By William Hill
Last Updated: 7th January 2020
The Sweden vs Switzerland odds make the latter favourites ahead of their round of 16 tie, but the Scandinavians have made a habit of upsetting expectations from qualifying onwards.
Vladimir Petkovic’s Swiss side are odds-on jollies to qualify for the quarter finals at 8/11 and narrow favourites in the 90 minutes match betting at 17/10.
Yet, there’s much to like about the Blågult’s chances both of progressing by any method at odds of EVS, or indeed of victory in normal time at 19/10, given some of the scalps they’ve taken en route to this fixture.
Janne Andersson’s squad defied expectations in even getting to Russia, after they were drawn in a qualifying group alongside France and the Netherlands.
Shorn of their undisputed star and talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who retired after Euro 2016, Sweden snatched second place in the section ahead of the Oranje after some heroic showings, including a 2-1 win over eventual table toppers France.
Drawn against Italy in the qualification play-off, they again defied the odds to oust the Azzurri over two legs.
Finally and most recently, they stunned Mexico 3-0 in their final group game, to play their part in dumping reigning champions Germany out of the World Cup.
A qualifying loss to Portugal is Switzerland’s sole loss in their last 25 games
Though the Rossocrociati may not be as big a name as the Netherlands, Italy or Die Mannschaft, their form over the past couple of years means they might be expected to be bigger Sweden vs Switzerland odds favourites than they already are.
As such, the stage remains very much set for the Swedes to find a way to get past better fancied opposition once again.
Sweden vs Switzerland team news
Both sides will be without integral first-team players serving bans after picking up two yellow cards in the group stages.
The Swedes will be without Hull midfielder Sebastian Larsson, who had played their first three games in central midfield, while their opponents will be missing not one, but two first-team stalwarts in Stephan Lichtsteiner and Fabian Schaar.
Michael Lang and Johan Djourou could deputise for the two stalwarts.
Sweden named the side for the last two games and the odds are that – bar Larsson – they will do the same again.
In addition, both teams have a number of players currently one yellow card away from suspension. For the Swedes, Albin Ekda Viktor Claesson and Mikael Lustig are in this position, whereas Swiss players Xherdan Shaqiri, Denis Zakaria and Valon Behrami would also miss out on the quarter-finals if cautioned.
On a more positive note, Steven Zuber, who scored Switzerland’s equaliser against Brazil in their first match in Russia, has been ill, but is expected to be in contention to start against Sweden in Saint Petersburg.
Sweden vs Switzerland predicted line-ups
Sweden: Robin Olsen; Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelöf, Andreas Granqvist, Ludwig Augustinsson; Viktor Claesson, Gustav Svensson, Albin Ekdal, Emil Forsberg; Marcus Berg, Ola Toivonen
Switzerland: Yann Sommer; Michael Lang, Johan Djourou, Manuel Akanji, Ricardo Rodriguez; Valon Behrami, Granit Xhaka; Xherdan Shaqiri, Blerim Dzemaili, Steven Zuber; Josip Drmic
Sweden vs Switzerland match stats
Sweden are unbeaten in their last three games versus the Swiss (W1 D2), although their last clash came back in March 2002 (1-1). The Rossocrociati’s last win over the Swedes came in October 1994 in a Euro qualifier in Bern (4-2), when they were managed by Roy Hodgson.
Sweden have never won consecutive World Cup matches since they did so twice in 1958 as host nation, despite competing in 11 tournaments since then.
All bar three of Switzerland’s last 14 goals at the World Cup have been scored in the second half, including four of their five at this year’s tournament. The
Sweden vs Switzerland player stats
Emil Forsberg and Marcus Berg have had 21 of Sweden’s 37 shots at the 2018 World Cup (57%) without scoring any of them. The pair can be backed to put that right by scoring anytime at odds of 4/1 and 2/1 respectively.
The suspended Stephan Lichtsteiner had missed just 25 minutes out of the 1590 played by his team at major tournaments since Euro 2008 prior to this game.
Since Switzerland reached the quarters at World Cup 1954, Xherdan Shaqiri is their only player to have scored in the knockout stages of a major tournament, at Euro 2016 against Poland.