Sweden To Edge To A Narrow First Leg Success In Their World Cup Play Off Against Italy

The glut of international friendlies aren't very appetising but thankfully there is a very tasty first leg of a 2018 World Cup play-off between Sweden and Italy to come on Friday night and we are looking forward to a tactical battle...

  • Italy haven't won a match in Sweden since 1912
  • Sweden haven't lost at home since September 2015
  • Ciro Immobile has scored 14 goals in 11 games for Lazio in Serie A this season
Friday 10th November - 7.45pm OddsWon/LostBet
Sweden v Italy    
Tips Sweden win draw no bet    Best Bet @ 11 / 8  

The Qualification Campaign

Sweden finished second to France in their group during qualifying and their run to these play-offs was based on a fine home record that saw them win four and draw one of their five matches, including victory over France.

A win on home soil, where they are unbeaten in all internationals for more than two years, will be vital if they are to progress to Russia next summer as they do tend to struggle on the road and the Swedes are 5/2 for victory (Bet 365).

It is the Sweden win with draw no bet at 11/8 (Betfred) which makes most appeal as Italy have looked a shadow of their former selves.

The Azzurri finished second to Spain during qualifying and manager Gian Piero Ventura has come in for scathing criticism as his team continue to struggle.
Match Odds:

Head-To-Head

The Italians could yet miss the finals of a World Cup for the first time since 1958 and they are winless in six visits to Sweden since 1912, drawing three and losing three of six meetings since.

Italy are unbeaten in five clashes with Sweden overall (drawn one, lost four) and they edged to a 1-0 win at the 2016 European Championships, with under 2.5 goals currently available at 8/15.

It is difficult to know how either side will approach this as Sweden know that a win on home soil is vital, whereas Italy might be happy to defend for a draw before getting the job done in Milan in the second leg on Monday.

Either way, Ciro Immobile will be an obvious threat after scoring 14 goals in 11 Serie A appearances for Lazio already this season and he is 5/1 to be first goalscorer (Betfred.com), albeit it is the hosts who we are tipping to cause a surprise on home soil.

Posted: Thursday, 9th November 2017
Author: Chris Knight

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