An intimidating atmosphere awaits Sweden at the San Siro as Italy must overturn a 1-0 deficit in the second leg of their World Cup playoff. Read below our Italy vs Sweden betting preview including predictions, betting tips, lineups, team news, highest odds, bookmakers promotions and no deposit free bets on the World Cup play-offs!
ITALY vs SWEDEN BETTING PREVIEW
Gian Piero Ventura has 90 minutes to save his job and extend Italy’s streak of qualifying for World Cups. Italy find themselves trailing by a 1-0 margin ahead of this all-important second leg match. The Azzurri failed to impress throughout their qualifying group campaign and they were held to a home draw by Macedonia last month. The Italians are now W3 D1 L2 in their last six games home and away in both competitive and friendly matches, with the other defeat against Spain (3-0) at the Bernabeu. Anyway, Italy are unbeaten in their last eight home games, winning the last five. Actually, they are on a 44 match undefeated streak at home in competitive matches, a run stretching all the way back to 1999 and totalling W36 D8.
Italian boss Ventura is expected to revert to his favoruite 4-2-4 system. That change would see Lorenzo Insigne and Antonio Candreva starting out wide. The front duo will be formed by Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti, altough both of them are not 100% fit. Simone Zaza, Eder and Federico Bernardeschi provide further options up front. In midfield, Marco Verratti is suspended and Jorginho, Roberto Gagliardini and Marco Parolo are in contention for a starting berth alongside Daniele De Rossi. In defense, Leonardo Bonucci suffered a broken nose and is expected to play with a protective mask. Giorgio Chiellini, Matteo Darmian and Alessandro Florenzi will complete the four man backline.
Sweden are just 90 minutes away from a place in next year’s World Cup finals in Russia after narrowly beating Italy in Solna, courtesy of a Johansson's deflected shot. Anyway, their results away from home in World Cup qualifiers are not particularly strong as they have lost 5 of their last 9 games on the road with defeats at Austria, Portugal, France, Bulgaria and Netherlands. The Blagult have only kept two clean sheets in that process, against Luxembourg and Belarus. Sweden are hardly going to go on the offensive, while Italy know that conceding an away goal would be a hammer blow to their chances of turning around this tie. Therefore this is likely to be a tense affair with neither team taking any risks unless they need to.
Jan Andersson is not expected to make wholesale changes to his side, as he is likely to confirm 9 players who started the 1st leg match. Celtic defender Mikael Lustig has served his one match suspension and will replace Emil Kraft at right back. He will form the backline with Victor Lindelof, Andreas Granqvist, Ludwig Augustinsson. In midfield Jakob Johansson, who scored the deciding goal last Friday, will get the nod over Viktor Claesson in midfield, where Albin Ekdal will retain his starting berth despite fatigue and cramps he suffered last time out. Ola Toivonen and Marcus Berg will spearheading the attack once again, with Kiese Thelin and John Guidetti ready to play in case of need.
ITALY vs SWEDEN PROBABLE LINEUPS
Italy (4-2-4): Buffon; Darmian, Florenzi, Chiellini, Bonucci; De Rossi, Parolo; Candreva, Insigne, Belotti, Immobile
Sweden (4-4-2): Olsen; Lustig, Lindelof, Granqvist, Augustinsson; Ekdal, Johansson, Larsson, Forsberg; Toivonen, Berg
ITALY vs SWEDEN ODDS
|ITALY||1.57 with||Bet £10, win £15.70|
|THE DRAW||4.33 with||Bet £10, win £43.30|
|SWEDEN||8.00 with||Bet £10, win £80.00|
ITALY vs SWEDEN PREDICTIONS
|OUR PICKS||BEST ODDS||BOOKMAKER|
|Italy to win||1.57|
|2-0 Correct Score||6.50|
|Sending off in the match||4.10|
|Italy to qualify||2.10|