Sweden v Switzerland Betting Tips: Shaqiri set to shine in St Petersburg


It is a staggering fact that underlines how fleeting this window to impress as the world watches is, not to mention how swiftly and brutally it shuts.

Yet, for his country, he remains the most obvious source of creativity.

Others are not so fortunate.

After meekly falling to a 1-0 defeat by unfancied Sweden, it's now 64 years since Switzerland scored in a knockout match at soccer's premier tournament.

After the match finished 1-1 at the conclusion of extra time, England recovered from the late heartbreak as substitute Eric Dier netted the winning penalty to send England through to the last eight.

It was enough to make Sweden the fifth European team to reach the quarter-finals. This is a man who knows where the goal is.

It was the last kick of the game as Switzerland bowed out of the competition for a fourth occasion at the last-16 and Sweden marched on, to a possible meeting with England.

After putting up the early pressure, Sweden regrouped their strategy and it paid off to some extent as forward M. Berg beat the offside trap and charged in behind, but his shot was stopped by the goalkeeper Yann Sommer in one-on-one tackle.

Another opportunity was blocked as Janne Andersson's men piled merrily into the box with their Scandi-ball.

Both the Swedes and Swiss went into the game at Saint Petersburg Stadium knowing that their side of the World Cup last 16 draw had opened up to provide a golden opportunity for an unfancied team to reach the final.

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Berg attempted three shots in this match and has now had 13 shots without scoring at the 2018 World Cup, more than any other player.

Strength: Unity. When Zlatan Ibrahimovic retired from worldwide football there were questions - not least those posed by the striker himself - about how Sweden would cope without their talisman.

Sweden do not play particularly dextrous football and they don't do much to surprise you.

Like Berg, Russia 2018 had not been kind to Emil Forsberg.

While most of the jokes in the run-up to the game were about Americans being unable to tell the difference between the two sides, the consensus on social media was that it was one of the worst matches of the tournament.

"He has nearly been playing like a left back", one Swedish journalist bemoaned on the eve of the match. "We had today good chances to go through and we didn't take the chance".

At the 13th minute mark, Sweden continued making regular incursions into Switzerland vital area, but the Scandinavian nation failed to convert. Two compact banks of four, two up front, work the channels.

None more so than when he scampered in field to collect a 66th-minute lay-off from the hulking Toivonen.

Switzerland could consider itself unlucky to be eliminated by a deflected shot from Emil Forsberg, but it was also a victim of its own overcautious play - a failure to seize control of a match that their lofty ranking suggested they should have won easily.

Forsberg might not act the team's big dog like the retired Zlatan Ibrahimovic but in his first World Cup finals, the midfielder has carried Sweden further than Ibrahimovic had ever done in his illustrious career.