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Sweden vs. England
The entire country of England will be watching as Gareth Southgate's team continues to move forward in the tournament with high hopes. On paper England are a much stronger squad than Sweden, however the scandinavians have proven that there is life after Zlatan and they are coming off two solid victories against Mexico and Switzerland respectively.
The infographic below highlights some of the major differences between the two teams. Most notably the squad market value is significantly higher for England with Harry Kane being one of the most coveted football players in world football today. Another interesting fact is that England is the only team in the tournament in which all 23 squad players play their club football in their domestic tournament. Sweden on the other hand has no major household names but have proven to be a solid squad all around.
Another major difference is the salary of both managers, with Gareth Southgate earning more than four times as his Swedish counterpart.
Overall the numbers indicate that England should win this match but at this stage of the tournament it is difficult to label any team the underdog. Will this be the year that "football's coming home?"
Russia vs. Croatia
Hopes are high in Russia. The hosts are feeling confident after eliminating Spain and now await Croatia in what promises to be a spectacular match. The Russians are the worst FIFA ranked club in the entire tournament but they have proven that having the home crowd support can be a determining factor. Most of their squad plays football in the Russian league with only a couple of players currently playing in top European leagues.
Croatia on the other hand are a very solid squad with global superstars such as Modric, Rakitic and Perisic. In fact only 10% of the squad players play in the Croatian league as most of them play in top European competitions such as the Premier League, La Liga and the Italian Serie A.
Croatia have been here before. Back in 1998 they reached the semifinals when they were led by Davor Suker. Today he is the president of the Croatian Football Federation and will hope his side can win against a Russian side that lacks international superstars but has a whole nation behind them.
Start Date: October 21, 2019 | Duration : 8 Months
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