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Jesse Lingard is our long shot specialist and he could be utterly crucial against Sweden

Lingard is the only player to have scored from outside the box for England at the World Cup

England have a chance of reaching their first World Cup semi-final since 1990 and everyone is very excited.

The only problem is that we haven’t actually played Sweden yet and it might be a little more difficult than we think.

They dumped out Germany in the group stages and then dealt with Switzerland pretty efficiently in the last-16, oh yeah and they’ve kept three clean sheets in four games.

They have an actual viking in defence

Getty - Contributor
They have an actual viking in defence

They don’t have any standout stars but the collective makes up far more than its parts.

Sweden’s defence has been harder to get through than an IKEA sofa with 80 pages of instructions (apologies).

Since Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s departure the Swedes have redeveloped themselves into a powerful, defensively solid side that won’t ever be spectacular but will make life incredibly uncomfortable for any opponent.

And that is exactly why we need to look to Jesse Lingard to unpick the flat-pack four (again, I’m sorry).

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Harry Kane will be doing everything he can to knit together chances with Raheem Sterling in tow but with Sweden’s titans he will need to be at his clinical best and gobble up any sniff at goal.

But while England’s glorious striker will be commanding all of Sweden’s attention, England’s real goal threat might come from a little further back.

Lingard is England’s long shot specialist and he is the only player in the side to have scored from outside the area in Russia.


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Remember that glorious strike against Panama? 

Well, we might need him to do something very similar if England are going to break down Sweden’s defence.

England have been extremely adept at scoring from set pieces in this tournament but the Swedes are so well organised at the back and have some giants in their back line.

Stones won’t find it so easy going up against Andreas Granqvist as he did for his brace against Panama.

We’ll excuse the dancing if he scores against Sweden

PA:Press Association
We’ll excuse the dancing if he scores against Sweden

LINGARD SCREAMER Jesse Lingard is 8/1 to score from outside the area

Sweden are set to sit back and allow England the ball in front of their back four and that’s where Lingard comes in.

He has scored some screamers for Man United this season and the tactic could be to use Kane as a backboard on which Lingard can run onto the ball.

Once he’s in position anywhere around the edge of the box, the 25-year-old has a vicious right foot and he won’t be afraid of using it.

Lingard has attempted eight shots and scored one which gives him one of the best records of players still left in the tournament.

Lingard is 8/1 with Sun Bets to score from outside the box against Sweden.