Saint Petersburg Stadium - World Cup Round of 16
The winners of Group F face the Group E runners up on Tuesday as Sweden meet Switzerland in what looks to be a close match. It took a comprehensive victory over Mexico for the Blagult to earn qualification, whilst the A-Team did so via a draw against Costa Rica.
The two sides have met often, although haven't faced off in over 15 years. The last occasion, an international friendly, ended in a 1-1 draw with goals from Marcus Allback and Ricardo Cabanas.
Janne Andersson has no injury concerns to contend with and will likely field a wholly similar side to that which beat Mexico in the last round. The manager has made just one change over Sweden's three games, bringing Viktor Lindelof into centre-back, where the Manchester United player has kept his place against both Germany and Mexico.
Switzerland have not been so lucky with player availability, as Stephan Lichtsteiner and Fabian Schar are both suspended for Tuesday's fixture, having collected two yellow cards apiece. Vladimir Petković will not only be losing his captain, but his two right sided defenders, meaning that Michael Lang is likely step in at full-back whilst Nico Elvedi and Johan Djourou will compete for the centre-back position.
Sweden v Switzerland Preview and Predictions
When the groups were cast few would have predicted that it would be Sweden emerging victories from a group containing Germany and Mexico, with Switzerland's progression over Serbia also a shock. However, both sides have impressed in the tournament, with Andersson's side in particular proving themselves on the international stage.
It should have come as no surprise that Sweden would do well, after they contributed to the demise of the Netherlands and Italy on their route to the World Cup. This having been said, their blend of power, organisation and sheer belief has carried the side to a level that few would have predicted. The defeat to Germany was almost unfair given the efforts of the team, and came from equal parts bad-luck and incredible technique from Toni Kroos.
Switzerland, despite operating under the radar, are as of yet unbeaten in the competition. An opening draw against Brazil gave Petković the ideal start on which to operate, knowing that his side had their hardest game under their belts. Few would have predicted though their impressive victory over Serbia, who many were touting as a surprise package this year. Having dominated possession through the game, it took a rapid counter attack and a cool finish from Xherdan Shaqiri to justifiably win the game in the closing minutes.
Tuesday's game promises to be a close, tactical encounter, with Switzerland perhaps better off handing Sweden the initiative to nullify their defensive strength. Both sides have incredible combative midfields, but perhaps the weakened Swiss defence may take its toll against a confident Swedish side.
A penalty in the match at 6/4
Sweden have already benefitted from two spot-kicks, as teams struggle to cope with their strength in the box.
Under 2.5 goals at 15/8
Sweden's organisation should be able to stop Switzerland's offence.