World Cup Quarterfinal Predictions Including England vs Sweden

The weaker half of the 2018 World Cup bracket features favorites England and Croatia squaring of with fellow UEFA competitors Sweden and Russia. Will the underdogs emerge victorious or will expectations hold? Our panelists offer their predictions.

England vs Sweden (Saturday in Samara)

Steen Kirby: England scraped into the quarters after penalties, an emotional win that should give them confidence after decades of agony on the international stage. Sweden have made a special run of their own, this unheralded side wasn’t expected to qualify for the tournament, and now they are into the quarterfinals. Defense will play a pivotal role for both sides. Andreas Granqvist has led the Swedish backline, while Harry Maguire has become a cult hero for England (with John Stones also playing his role). I have a feeling the confidence of the previous round will carry over and England will do enough to get a result. England 2-1 (after extra time)

Shiven Mohindra: After a historic victory for the Three Lions, they will head into this tie full of confidence. Sweden have been the ‘fighters’ of this tournament, facing every game they play in a fearless fashion. However, after what happened on Tuesday night for England, they will want to fully rest up and get ready to continue their excellent world cup run so far. England to win this one comfortably. England 3-0

Lukas Weese: England finally avenged their demons to win its first match in penalties in World Cup history. Colombia was a much better team than Sweden but England should not disrespect their fellow European nation. It will be close at first but expect England to break free with another goal by Golden Boot leader Harry Kane and to bring football a little closer to HOME). England 1-0

Russia vs Croatia (Saturday in Sochi)

Steen: Russia has gone from a potential World Cup laughing stock to a quarterfinalist in the span of just a few weeks. Croatia meanwhile is just a game away from matching the heroics of the 1998 squad that finished third at the World Cup. Russia will be inspired by home support and the return of Alan Dzagoev, a midfield veteran who will strengthen their attack. Croatia was a bit sluggish in the last match but their managerial decisions have been solid this tournament and for that reason alone I have them winning this contest. Croatia 1-0

Shiven: Both Russia and Croatia saw their goalkeepers coming up big in their round of sixteen ties, both winning on penalties. Hosts, Russia, were able to knock out, title contenders, Spain in extraordinary fashion which will only give them a huge motivation boost headed into the quarter finals. Despite a valiant effort from Croatia, the Russian fairytale will continue. Russia 2-0

Lukas:  A game between two European nations. Russia somehow got into the quarters on penalties despite Spain having 80 percent possession. I think the home crowd team’s Cinderella run ends here. Croatia has a talented midfield and strikers that will dictate possession and create scoring opportunities. They find a way to take control with an early goal and advance to the semis). Croatia 1-0

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