Sweden vs Switzerland: Swedes to maintain momentum
Sweden vs Switzerland Match Preview and Predictions
Switzerland and Sweden had to come through the play-offs to qualify for the World Cup but are now eyeing a place in the quarter-finals ahead of their meeting in St Petersburg.
Both teams have had mixed fortunes so far but did enough to come through testing groups to book their places in the last 16.
Switzerland drew with outright favourites Brazil in their opening match and remain unbeaten, but it is Sweden who have advanced as group winners thanks to an impressive 3-0 victory over Mexico.
Sweden vs Switzerland Betting Tips
Sweden are heading into the knockout stages with plenty of momentum after their comfortable win against Mexico which was their biggest in a World Cup match since 1994.
Having knocked Italy out in the play-offs and then topping a group featuring defending champions Germany, the Swedes are full of confidence.
Coach Janne Andersson was thrilled by the display against Mexico, saying: "We have handled the things that have happened - I'm so incredibly proud, moved almost, by the thought of how we performed in the match."
Switzerland will need to raise their game after some patchy performances, ending the group stage with a 2-2 draw against Costa Rica during which two players picked up suspensions for the start of the knockout phase.
Midfielder Valon Behrami admitted: "We are not at all satisfied with the performance. We couldn't control the game. So it will be difficult in the round of 16 - Sweden's players are physically very strong."
They may be the underdogs but we're backing Sweden to get through at 19/20 as the first of our Sweden vs Switzerland betting tips.
First goalscorer tips
Marcus Berg is yet to get off the mark at the World Cup but he remains the focal point of their attack.
He was the top scorer in Sweden's qualifying group with eight goals and the expected goals data highlights how he is still on the end of the most chances so back him to come good at 13/2.
Anytime goalscorer tips
Sweden's top scorer so far is defender Andreas Granqvist, who has converted two penalties and has already given us a 13/2 winner with his goal against South Korea.
He is 6/1 to be on target against Switzerland and that still looks decent value for a penalty taker.
Where the game will be won or lost
Switzerland have struggled for consistency and have found themselves on the back foot for parts of all three matches so far.
Their combined expected goals tally for the three matches is 3.62, suggesting they have overperformed in netting five goals, while their best defensive display was against Costa Rica but even they managed an xG of 1.18 despite having nothing to play for.
Sweden's form looks more sustainable, having produced significantly more chances than the opposition in two of their matches, while their backs-to-the-walls defensive effort against Germany was seconds away from earning a point.
Switzerland conceded only seven goals during qualifying though and we're not expecting a classic. Extra time is a real possibility so under 1.5 goals in 90 minutes is one of our Sweden vs Switzerland predictions at 7/5.
We think Sweden could just edge it in normal time though and a 1-0 win at 13/2 has plenty of appeal. Having kept two clean sheets already, the Scandinavians will back themselves to see the match out if they take the lead.
Sweden will be without former Sunderland midfielder Sebastian Larsson through suspension, while Switzerland captain Stephan Lichtsteiner and fellow defender Fabian Schar will also serve one-game bans.
Traders' Tips - View from the trading floor
The knockout round match-up between Sweden and Switzerland looks to be too close to call. Switzerland drew two of their group games and with a place in the quarter-finals up for grabs, both teams are expected to enter this game with caution. A draw at the end of 90 minutes looks to be the way to go and can be backed at 2/1.
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