England 6-4 to reach the World Cup final

It was fourth time lucky for England in a World Cup shootout and they are generally available at 10-1 to see off Sweden via the same method that did for Colombia on Tuesday when the Three Lions aim to reach their first semi-final in the competition since 1990.

On that occasion 28 years ago it was penalties that eliminated England against West Germany, while there was more spot-kick heartache to follow against Argentina in 1998 and Portugal in 2006 before the euphoria of ending the pain with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford the hero of the hour.

It's expected to be a tight match with over 2.5 goals available at 7-4 which brings in the potential for the tie to go beyond 90 minutes and the Samara quarter-final is 9-2 to go to penalties with Sweden 10-1 to return a nation back to cursing shootouts.

England have managed to win three penalties in normal time during the finals in Russia and it's 13-8 with bet365 that Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers points to the spot for either side.

At the start of the World Cup a penalty to be awarded was trading around the 7-2 mark, although such has been the amount of spot-kick drama throughout the tournament it is possible to back no 90-minute penalty at 1-2 with Betway and Hills.

Harry Kane is 9-4 favourite with Betfair to be named as the official man of the match and the skipper also leads the way in the first goalscorer market at 11-4.

One of England, Sweden, Croatia or hosts Russia will be playing in the World Cup final and Gareth Southgate's side are 6-4 favourites to come through the perceived easier half of the draw, while the Three Lions went into the start of the quarter-finals at 9-2 to win the tournament.

That is shorter than the 13-2 offered when England were last in the World Cup quarter-finals in 2006 but they were only 7-2 to lift the trophy at the same stage in 2002 before exiting to Brazil.

What is clear is this is seen as a much easier last-eight date with England 4-9 to qualify for the semi-finals compared to 5-4 against Brazil and 4-7 against Portugal four years later.

Sweden, last semi-finalists in 1994, are 2-1 with Betfred to progress and their manager Janne Andersson does not have anything special lined up for England.

He said: "There are some coaches who say about their teams that they are easy to analyse but difficult to beat, and I think that applies very well with us."

Match in Focus


Ireland v N Ireland

Home WinDrawAway Win
Key stats
  • Ireland have two clean sheets in nine home games
Expert verdict
This will be a friendly in name only and looks set to conjure up goals in the first Irish derby since 2011. Both sides are out of form and bottom of their Nations League groups but will be motivated to perform under the lights of the Aviva Stadium. The return of Kyle Lafferty should be a big boost for the visitors.



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