By Bulldog Drummond
If you have been reading Untold regularly you’ll know three things about Untold and international football. The first is that we don’t care for it because of it is run by the mafia-like Fifa and allows the mainstream media to idolise corruption, theft and violence – all of which are associated with Fifa. The second is it is a chance for Arsenal players to get injured. Third, British tax payers contribute to the costs of running the FA, and we’d sooner save that money and put it towards the NHS.
But the thing is out there, and we wondered if there was anything we could say about the WC that hasn’t been said elsewhere (apart from the fact that we wished it wasn’t there).
And we came up with the idea of seeing if the very simple methodology that we have used to predict Arsenal results could be used in internationals.
All we do is look at both sides recent records, and the head to head results, and then assume that any runs of results will continue. Of course all runs come to an end, but they also keep going for some time… which is why they are runs. And finally the notion of using this system seemed to fit the Untold brief, since no one else is using it in quite this way, although any moment now I suspect some sites or papers will nick it. It’s what happens.
So far we have got three results on 90 minutes correct out of three predictions, and two scores on 90 minutes correct out of three predictions. (We didn’t publish predictions for the first England game). Thus, still ready to make fools of ourselves we are having another go with England v Sweden.
First off, the England games. The table is taken from the excellent 11v11.com site which we all highly recommend.
|01 Sep 2017||Malta v England||W||0-4||World Cup|
|04 Sep 2017||England v Slovakia||W||2-1||World Cup|
|05 Oct 2017||England v Slovenia||W||1-0||World Cup|
|08 Oct 2017||Lithuania v England||W||0-1||World Cup|
|10 Nov 2017||England v Germany||D||0-0||Friendly|
|14 Nov 2017||England v Brazil||D||0-0||Friendly|
|23 Mar 2018||Netherlands v England||W||0-1||Friendly|
|27 Mar 2018||England v Italy||D||1-1||Friendly|
|02 Jun 2018||England v Nigeria||W||2-1||Friendly|
|07 Jun 2018||England v Costa Rica||W||2-0||Friendly|
|18 Jun 2018||Tunisia v England||W||1-2||World Cup|
|24 Jun 2018||England v Panama||W||6-1||World Cup|
|28 Jun 2018||England v Belgium||L||0-1||World Cup|
|03 Jul 2018||Colombia v England||D||1-1||World Cup|
One defeat in the last 14 games is obviously impressive. As is four wins and one defeat and one draw in the last six games, remembering we look at the 90 minute score.
Now we look at the England v Sweden games. And here we go right back to 1979, considering the results from England’s point of view.
|10 Jun 1979||Sweden v England||D||0-0||Friendly|
|10 Sep 1986||Sweden v England||L||1-0||Friendly|
|19 Oct 1988||England v Sweden||D||0-0||World Cup|
|06 Sep 1989||Sweden v England||D||0-0||World Cup|
|17 Jun 1992||Sweden v England||L||2-1||Euro Championship|
|08 Jun 1995||England v Sweden||D||3-3||Umbro Cup|
|05 Sep 1998||Sweden v England||L||2-1||Euro Championship|
|05 Jun 1999||England v Sweden||D||0-0||Euro Championship|
|10 Nov 2001||England v Sweden||D||1-1||Friendly|
|02 Jun 2002||England v Sweden||D||1-1||World Cup|
|31 Mar 2004||Sweden v England||L||1-0||Friendly|
|20 Jun 2006||Sweden v England||D||2-2||World Cup|
|15 Nov 2011||England v Sweden||W||1-0||Friendly|
|15 Jun 2012||Sweden v England||W||2-3||Euro Championship|
|14 Nov 2012||Sweden v England||L||4-2||Friendly|
Looking at the most recent times England have won two and lost one. But, and this is where we find the surprising stat that we always look for – England have only won twice against Sweden in 15 games. That really is a surprise, given that our perception of Sweden is of a small country with a league played in the summer and very modest clubs.
However the benefit Sweden has is that its players play all over the world. Here is the squad.
|2||Kristoffer Nordfeldt||Swansea City||28||GK|
|5||Victor Lindelöf||Manchester United||23||Defender|
|6||Andreas Granqvist (C)||Krasondar||32||Defender|
|7||Martin Olsson||Swansea City||29||Defender|
|8||Ludwig Augustinsson||Werder Bremen||23||Defender|
|9||Filip Helander||Bologna FC||22||Defender|
|11||Pontus Jansson||Leeds United||27||Defender|
|12||Sebastian Larsson||Hull City||32||Midfielder|
|13||Viktor Claesson||FC Krasnodar||26||Midfielder|
|14||Gustav Svensson||Seattle Sounders FC||31||Midfielder|
|15||Emil Forsberg||RB Lepizig||26||Midfielder|
|17||Marcus Rohden||FC Crotone||27||Midfielder|
|19||Albin Ekdal||Hamburger SV||28||Midfielder|
|20||Marcus Berg||Al Ain||31||Forward|
|23||Isaac Kiese Thelin||Waasland-Beveren||25||Forward|
On the downside for Sweden many of the players do play for very modest clubs, on the upside they bring in a range of international experience. England is the only country in this WC set of finals that has only players playing in its own country in the list.
Here are the recent Sweden matches, the format again taken from 11v11.com
|31 Aug 2017||Bulgaria v Sweden||L||3-2||World Cup|
|03 Sep 2017||Belarus v Sweden||W||0-4||World Cup|
|07 Oct 2017||Sweden v Luxembourg||W||8-0||World Cup|
|10 Oct 2017||Netherlands v Sweden||L||2-0||World Cup|
|10 Nov 2017||Sweden v Italy||W||1-0||World Cup|
|13 Nov 2017||Italy v Sweden||D||0-0||World Cup|
|11 Jan 2018||Sweden v Denmark||W||1-0||Friendly|
|24 Mar 2018||Sweden v Chile||L||1-2||Friendly|
|27 Mar 2018||Romania v Sweden||L||1-0||Friendly|
|02 Jun 2018||Sweden v Denmark||D||0-0||Friendly|
|09 Jun 2018||Sweden v Peru||D||0-0||Friendly|
|18 Jun 2018||Sweden v Korea Republic||W||1-0||World Cup|
|23 Jun 2018||Germany v Sweden||L||2-1||World Cup|
|27 Jun 2018||Mexico v Sweden||W||0-3||World Cup|
|03 Jul 2018||Sweden v Switzerland||W||1-0||World Cup|
Three victories and one defeat in the last four games, but before that a run of defeats and draws.
Pulling this together we might take the recent results as a key indicator. Three wins and a defeat for Sweden. Two wins a defeat and a draw (at 90 mins) for England. That gives Sweden the slight edge.
In the four world cup games Sweden has scored six and conceded two. For England it is nine goals for and four against. In competitive games England usually come out on top – we have to go back 10 years for the last Sweden victory over England outside a friendly.
In the last four games between the two countries there have been an average of 4.0 goals per game. I think that will continue and the closeness between the two in competitive matches will continue. I am going for a draw on 90 minutes at 2-2. England ultimately to go through.
And a footnote – no Arsenal players are likely to be injured in the playing of this game – unless Danny Welbeck is called up which seems unlikely.
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- Untold’s predictions for England results and scores: five out of six right.
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- Fifa establish their unchallengable right to change football rules as they go
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