Sole holding midfielder Henderson must quell Sweden’s biggest threat Forsberg

Assessments of international football teams often fall into cliche and that is generally not a complement to the relevant squad.

However, while the Sweden team that stands between England and a first World Cup semi-final since 1990 is as organised as you would traditionally expect, there is more to it than that.

They have seen off France and Italy in recent months, and took Germany all the way to the wire, which isn’t possible to do without a sprinkling of class.

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That’s where RB Leipzig midfielder Emil Forsberg comes in. In this trademark Swedish 4-4-2, the midfielder valued at £22.5m by Transfermarkt is deployed in a narrow left-sided position, but given licence to bomb on and get involved on the counter-attack.

The numbers show that he is not involved in much intricate passing – although he does keep the ball well when he sporadically gets on it – but bombs forward and gets shots off.

Although Forsberg will start from the left, the space to either side of England’s sole holding midfielder Jordan Henderson will be where he is looking to get free.

The good news for England is that their 3-5-2 system creates an overload in central defence – three against Sweden’s two strikers – and in the engine room – three central players against the Swedes’ two – so Henderson should expect to often be free to dictate the game throughout.

He just needs to make sure the back door is closed, or Forsberg could sneak in and dent England’s dreams.