Swedish scout Tom Prahl tells their media what he thinks are England's key flaws

England Media Access - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

England are in a World Cup quarter-final for the first time since 2006.

After seeing off Tunisia and Panama to get out of the group, the Three Lions faced their first big test in Colombia.

And they just about scraped through, beating the South American side on penalties after Yerry Mina scored an equaliser right at the death to setup extra-time.

Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Kieran Trippier and Eric Dier slotted home their penalties to seal a 4-3 shootout win, with Jordan Pickford making an outrageous save from Carlos Bacca.

Gareth Southgate's side will go into the Sweden game as favourites, but will have to be wary of their streetwise opponents.

After all, they beat Mexico 3-0 to win the group and saw off Switzerland 1-0 in the last-16.

And their expert scout Tom Prahl has told the Swedish media the biggest flaw he thinks England possess; they don't move the ball quick enough.

To give you some background, Prahl is viewed as a tactical genius in Sweden after a 40-year managerial career.

He is now advising the national team and drawing up detailed dossiers on their opponents.


And he told Swedish newspaper Expressen: “In terms of weaknesses, they aren’t very good at moving the ball quick — not like teams from southern Europe.

“They’ve not been under that much pressure. I think their opposition has backed off quite a bit, so they’ve been given the opportunity to move it nice and slow.

“So that is a big question for me — whether they’ll be able to open us up if we press them higher, and what would be the effects on our own game. We’ll find out.

“England isn’t just long balls forward and kick and rush, but much more influenced by the rest of Europe. They keep a lot of players centrally and use a back three, but they also have much more method to their build-up.


“They’ve also kept their more traditional attributes, with toughness and physicality. They’ve scored six out of their nine goals on set plays, so we’re aware of that.”

The mind games have started.

It's something that has been raised by the English media as well, with a few pointing out the lack of open play chances being presented to top scorer Kane.

Maybe the Swedes are onto something. Over to you, Gareth.

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