Monday, 19 November, 2018

Matthaeus tips England to meet Brazil in World Cup final

Striker Henrik Larsson left played in three World Cups with Sweden reaching the semi-finals in 1994 Striker Henrik Larsson left played in three World Cups with Sweden reaching the semi-finals in 1994
Melinda Barton | 07 July, 2018, 10:44

However, they will be buoyed by the fact England have not kept a clean sheet at the tournament despite playing Tunisia and Panama in their opening two games.

Perhaps much of the feeling that England have struggled against the Scandinavians comes from the memory of Euro 92, where England were eliminated after losing their final group game to the Swedes, with Thomas Brolin grabbing a later victor. We have to win tomorrow's match, which is going to be very tough. "I'll be watching it in any pub on Broad Street".

But even if England did have a very poor history against Sweden, would that have any impact on Saturday's quarter-final in Samara? If they can keep it up, they have a good chance.

Charmaine Smith, 36, who lives in the suburb of Erdington, will be watching the game on Saturday at home with her three children.

"If England win I buy you dinner wherever you want in the world, but if Sweden wins you buy me whatever I want from Ikea, OK?" he proposed on Twitter.

Asked what Southgate might say in his team-talk before the Sweden match, Eriksson added: "Not in the team-talk, but probably two or three days before he will perhaps remind the players "hey, Sweden are not Brazil but Sweden are hard to play against". England put six past Panama but generally you're not seeing teams being ripped apart. I was disappointed with Croatia in the last round, they struggled really badly.

"If we get through the first 20 minutes, we can go through to the semis".

One fan, Bob Green, 53, from Stamford, in Lincolnshire, said he believed more England fans were making the journey.

Now the 30-year-old defender is gearing up to enjoy the atmosphere in the Scandinavian city she has called home since 2013, which is around an hour's drive west of Stockholm and has a population of around 100,000.

There was a long spell without a win for England against the Nordic nation, between 1968 and 2011 - a spell of 12 games which saw four defeats and eight draws.

James Nash, 19, is the only person who told us he isn't particularly excited about the match.

"If you focus on the quality of the game, if you focus on the dominance, then you are not so happy".

"Now it's about England on Saturday and we are all there with our full support behind them".