Sweden and Italy go head to head for the first leg of their World Cup Qualifiers Play-off clash on Friday evening, after finishing second in their respective qualifying groups behind France and Spain. Read below our Sweden vs Italy betting preview including predictions, betting tips, probable lineups, team news, best odds, exclsuive offers and no deposit bonuses on the World Cup play-offs!
SWEDEN vs ITALY BETTING PREVIEW
Sweden got through a group containing France and the Netherlands, finishing runner up to Les Blues. The Swedes closed their qualifying campaign by losing 2-0 to the Netherlands in the final group game, but the superior goal difference played its part in sending the Blagult to the play-off as one of the best second placed teams. They have proven great character at home, as they earned four wins and one draw (1-1 against Netherlands) in five outings. The also beat France on home soil by 2-1 scoreline.
Mikael Lustig is suspended and will be replaced at right-back by Emil Krafth, who will join Manchester United centre back Victor Lindelof, Andreas Granqvist and Ludwig Augustinsson in defense. Marcus Berg and Ola Toivonen are likely to lead the line in a 4-4-2 starting system, with John Guidetti and Isaac Kiese Thelin as back up options. Viktor Claesson and Jakob Johansson will feature from the off in central midfield, with Sebastian Larsson and Emil Forsberg out wide. Jimmy Durmaz is not completely match fit having not featured since the end of September and isn't expected to start.
Italy were beaten to top spot in Group G of UEFA qualifying by Spain as they suffered a 3-0 loss to Julen Lopetegui's men. That was the only time that the Azzurri have lost outside of Italy in a World Cup qualifier in more than a decade. Apart from that, they recorded five wins in six matches on the road in their qualifying campaign. Giampiero Ventura's men haven’t suffered a loss to Sweden since 1998 and have won 4 of the last 5 direct matches (W4 D1), including a 1-0 success at Euro 2016.
Simone Zaza or Eder are likely to partner Ciro Immobile up front, since Andrea Belotti ha returned from a knee injury last weekend and could be rested for the 2nd leg. Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardescchi provide viable attacking alternatives. Roma’s Alessandro Florenzi and Napoli’s Jorginho are also available after long spells away from the scene but they are both expected to sit on bench. Antonio Candreva and Matteo Darmian will probably starts as wing backs with the likes of Marco Verratti, Daniele De Rossi and Marco Parolo in the middle of the park.
SWEDEN vs ITALY PROBABLE LINEUPS
Sweden (4-4-2): Olsen; Augustinsson, Granqvist, Lindelof, Krafth; Larsson, Johansson, Forsberg, Claesson; Berg, Toivonen
Italy (3-5-2): Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Darmian, De Rossi, Verratti, Parolo, Candreva; Zaza, Immobile
SWEDEN vs ITALY ODDS
|SWEDEN||3.50 with||Bet £10, win £35.00|
|THE DRAW||3.20 with||Bet £10, win £32.00|
|ITALY||2.40 with||Bet £10, win £24.00|
SWEDEN vs ITALY PREDICTIONS
|OUR PICKS||BEST ODDS||BOOKMAKER|
|1-1 Correct Score||6.50|
|Both teams to score||2.10|
|Sweden first team to score||2.40|