World Cup 2018: England face Sweden for semi-final place in Russia

Fans are hoping England can reach their first World Cup semi-final since 1990
2018 Fifa World Cup quarter-final: Sweden v England
Venue: Samara Arena Date: Saturday, 7 July Time: 15:00 BST
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button and iPlayer, BBC Sport website and app; listen on Radio 5 live; follow text updates online

England is set to come to a standstill on Saturday as the national team faces Sweden for a place in the World Cup semi-finals.

With the country basking in a heatwave, millions of fans will follow the match in Russia across the BBC at 15:00 BST.

England have not reached the last four of the tournament for 28 years and their sole triumph came in 1966.

Manager Gareth Southgate said: “We’re improving and want to make history.”

England are favourites to reach the last four from what is considered the easier side of the draw, with the winners of the match in Samara facing Russia or Croatia – who play at 19:00 – on Wednesday.

Barbecues are being prepared, pubs are set for bumper business, and thousands of fans will watch the game on big screens at events up and down the country.

The climax of England’s World Cup penalty shootout win over Colombia on Tuesday was seen by 23.6 million viewers on ITV.

England flags at a pub in Jarrow, Tyneside – fans have been sharing their decorations on social media via #bbcworldcup

Bluffer’s guide to the match

  • England are in their first World Cup quarter-final for 12 years and are aiming to reach the semi-finals for the first-time since 1990.
  • Sweden, the 1958 runners-up, last reached the quarter-finals in 1994 when they went on to finish third.
  • England are the only side left in their side of the draw who have a won a World Cup before.
  • Tuesday’s victory over Colombia was England’s first in a World Cup penalty shootout.
  • England have scored nine goals already at this World Cup – the only time they have scored more is in 1966 when they won the tournament.

How to follow the game

Television: Countdown to the match starts at 14:00 on BBC One, presented by Gary Lineker. Analysis comes from Alan Shearer, Rio Ferdinand and Jurgen Klinsmann, with commentary by Guy Mowbray and Martin Keown.

Radio: Build-up begins at 06:00 with Rachel Burden in Samara, followed by Robbie Savage’s World Cup Breakfast (08:30). Mark Chapman and Kelly Cates continue coverage from 11:00. John Murray is the match commentator alongside Chris Waddle, with post-match reaction in 606.

Online: Latest news, social media, video clips, photos and updates from 07:00 before full live text commentary on the match.

The last time England played Sweden at a World Cup

How the teams shape up

England could be without striker Jamie Vardy who has a groin injury, but are hoping that left-back Ashley Young recovers from an ankle knock and midfielder Dele Alli’s thigh injury is not a major problem.

Captain Harry Kane is aiming to become only the second Englishman after Lineker to win the Golden Boot for the World Cup’s top scorer. He needs one goal to break Lineker’s feat of scoring six times in 1986.

Sweden are 24th in Fifa’s rankings – 12 places below England – and are without national hero Zlatan Ibrahimovic – who retired from international football two years ago.

But they finished ahead of the Netherlands in qualifying, beat Italy in the subsequent play-offs and topped the group in Russia containing defending champions Germany.

After Sweden’s 2-0 win over Switzerland which sealed a spot in the last eight, coach Janne Andersson said: “We’re not satisfied with what we’ve done – we want to win the next match too.”


Matches 24: England won 8; drawn 9; lost 7.

One man who might have mixed feelings should Tottenham striker Kane score again is Swedish prime minister Stefan Lofven.