Categories: AnalysisInternational NewsSportsTPM Exclusive

Previewing Day 21 of the FIFA World Cup

Part of our 2018 FIFA World Cup Hub

The quarterfinals of the world’s biggest sporting event wraps up on Saturday, with games starting at 10am and 2pm.

Russia would match their best performance by reaching the semifinals for the 2nd time, after England 1966.

The two winners will play each other in a semifinal on Wednesday, July 11.


Sweden continues their fairytale run against England, who themselves should also be ecstatic to have made it this far. England were champions in England 1966, while Sweden were runners-up in Sweden 1958.

These sides first met in a 1908 friendly in Sweden, where the visiting English team won 6-1.

They met again the next month in the quarterfinals of the 1908 Olympics in London. That time, England, as the United Kingdom, eliminated Sweden by winning 12-1 on their way to getting the Gold.

After various friendlies throughout the century, their next competitive fixtures came during World Cup qualifying for Italy 1990. Both legs ended in scoreless draws, and both teams qualified, Sweden as group winners and England as group runners-up. At Italy 1990, Sweden would finish bottom of their group and England would make it to the semifinals.

They met again two years later in the Group Stage at Euro 1992, which was held in Sweden. The hosts won 2-1, eliminating England, only to be eliminated themselves by Germany in the next round.

They then met in qualifying for Euro 2000. Sweden came from behind to win their home leg 2-1, and the other leg was a scoreless draw. Both teams qualified, Sweden as group winners with a 9-point lead, and England as group runners-up on goal difference over Poland. At the Euro, held in Belgium and the Netherlands, both teams were eliminated in the Group Stage.

They also met in the Group Stage of Korea-Japan 2002, where they drew 1-1. Sweden finished as group winners over England on goals scored. Sweden were eliminated by debutants Senegal in the next round, and England were eliminated by eventual champions Brazil in the quarterfinals.

They were again put into the same group at Germany 2006, where they drew 2-2. Both teams again advanced from their group, but England won the group this time. Sweden were eliminated by hosts Germany in the next round, while England again made it to the quarterfinals where they lost to Portugal on penalties.

They met again in the Group Stage at Euro 2012, held in Poland and Ukraine, where England won 3-2. Sweden were eliminated and England won the group, only to lose to Italy in the next round on penalties.

Their last meeting was later that year, in a friendly in Sweden. The home team beat England on that occasion by 4-2.

This will be their 3rd World Cup meeting, and England will be the favourites to grab the first World Cup win between these countries.

England to Advance: 69.5%

Sweden to Advance: 30.5%


The hosts’ next challenge will be a Croatian side that, on paper, should not be as difficult to beat as Spain. However, Croatia has performed much better than Spain had at this tournament. Russia’s best performance was at England 1996, which they would match by beating Croatia and advancing to the semifinals. Croatia’s best performance was at their first World Cup in France 1998, where they came in 3rd place.

The first of three meetings between these two sides came in 2006, in the qualifiers for Euro 2008. It was Russia’s home leg and it ended in a goalless draw. Croatia’s home leg would also end in a goalless draw. Both teams qualified, Croatia as group winners and Russia as group runners-up. A Croatian win over England on the final matchday allowed Russia to qualify. At the Euro, held in Austria and Switzerland, Croatia were eliminated in the quarterfinals and Russia were eliminated in the semifinals.

Their third and last meeting was a 2015 friendly in Russia, where Croatia won 3-1.

This will be their 1st World Cup meeting. Croatia are the favourites.

Croatia to Advance: 61.3%

Russia to Advance: 38.7%

Mika Ryu

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