England will try to justify their rapid climb on the World Cup championship odds when they take on Sweden on Saturday in their first quarterfinal appearance in 12 years as -115 betting favourites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Three Lions needed penalties to top Colombia as +115 favourites on Tuesday, but take a solid 10-3-1 win-draw-loss record in 14 outings across all competitions into Saturday morning’s matchup at Samara Arena.
The English have blanked opponents six times in their past 14 outings, while their lone defeat came against Belgium in the Group G finale. Already assured of berths in the knockout stage, both sides elected to rest their regulars, and England was happy to suffer a 1-0 loss and avoid a quarterfinal clash with tournament favourites Brazil.
With Spain’s elimination during the Round of 16, England has emerged as the strongest squad on their side of the bracket, and have been rewarded on the World Cup championship odds, where they trail only Brazil and sit alongside France at +400.
Sweden lags as a +370 bet on Saturday’s World Cup odds, and are also pegged as distant +2500 longshots on the championships odds. However, the Blue and Yellow cannot be taken lightly after keeping clean sheets in each of their three wins to date, capped by a 1-0 victory over Switzerland as +225 underdogs to earn their first quarterfinal berth since 1994.
The Swedes are undefeated in their past three quarterfinal appearances, but have produced mixed results against England, going 5-8-2 in their past 15 meetings overall, and are winless in three major tournament clashes since Euro 1992.
Later on Saturday, host nation Russia looks to clinch their first-ever semifinal berth when they take on Croatia as +285 underdogs. The Russians stunned the soccer world with an upset victory over Spain as massive +550 underdogs on Sunday. However, Russia has scored just one total goal in three previous meetings with Croatia, and trail at +2000 on the World Cup futures.
The quarterfinals get underway on Friday, when France battles Uruguay as heavy -105 favourites, followed by a clash of soccer titans as Brazil takes on Belgium as +110 chalk.
Les Bleus punched their ticket to the quarterfinals for the third time in their past four tournament appearances after outlasting Argentina in a thrilling 4-3 victory as +140 chalk on Saturday, while Uruguay knocked off Portugal 2-1 as a +200 bet.
Brazil sits as +300 tournament favourites following their 2-0 shutout of Mexico as -200 chalk, while Belgium rides high following their 3-2 victory over Japan on -275 odds.