Sweden coach Janne Andersson warns England to expect tough test in last-eight battle

Sweden coach Janne Andersson warns England to expect tough test in last-eight battle
Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist has been in sensational form in Russia and will be key for Sweden on Saturday.
Updated 07 July 2018

Sweden coach Janne Andersson warns England to expect tough test in last-eight battle

Sweden coach Janne Andersson warns England to expect tough test in last-eight battle
  • Underdogs Sweden confident they can pull off another shock.
  • England camp remaining calm ahead of battle against familiar foes.

Sweden coach Janne Andersson has warned England to expect a rough ride when the two teams do battle for a spot in the semifinals today.
Both sides were unfancied at the start of the tournament, but both impressed during the group stage and now stand just two wins away from a place in the final.
England, on paper, are the stronger side and go in as favorites. But having topped a group that included Germany and seen off the challenge of Switzerland in the second round the Swedes will be no pushovers, and that is something Andersson was only too happy to remind the Three Lions.
“I think there was a coach who once said about their team that they’re quite easy to analyze but quite difficult to beat. I think that’s a right description for us,” the coach said. “It shouldn’t be that difficult to get an idea of what we do.
“The surprise is probably that we’re terribly consistent,” he added. “Whether or not you take us seriously and how they perceive it, that’s very difficult for me to say.
“We’re really strong in our beliefs and we really have been from the outset.”
For his opposite number Gareth Southgate the match against Sweden, and being in the weaker half of the draw, offers his side a once- in-a-lifetime opportunity. There is a school of thought that goes along the lines of, with it being a very young and inexperienced squad, the European Championships in two years time and the next World Cup will offer up better opportunities for silverware than in Russia.
Southgate, however, does not see it that way.
“Although our team will be better in two years with more life experience, maybe the cards on injuries and things won’t fall as kindly and we won’t get this opportunity again,” he said. “It’s dangerous if I start to get carried away, but I’m proud of the way we’re playing,” he said.
If there is a worry it is that England will underestimate Sweden. Even before qualification the Swedes’ chances were dismissed. They saw off the Netherlands in qualifying and knocked out Italy in a playoff, before finishing top of Group F.
Added to that they have kept three clean sheets in four outings in Russia. But captain Andreas Granqvist knows he may well have his work 
cut out against Harry Kane, the 
leading scorer in the competition with six goals.
“He’s incredibly skilled, not just at penalties but as a striker. It’s going to be a very tough match against him but we will do our best to stop him,” said Granqvist, who will be 
partnered by Victor Lindelof in 
central defense. “We need to be very strong in the penalty box and try and make sure they don’t get the service they need.”
Sweden know defence will be key as they have only scored more than once in one of their past 11 matches.