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Sweden vs Italy
FIFA World Cup Qualifying Play-off – UEFA
Date: Friday, 10th November 2017
Kick-off at 19:45 UK/ 20:45 CET
Venue: Friends Arena (Stockholm).
Sweden vs Italy: Preview and Predictions
A closely contested battle is on the cards when Sweden welcome Italy for the first leg clash of the World Cup qualification play-off.
Sweden finished second behind France in a tricky group that also involved the Netherlands. They finished losing 2-0 to the Netherlands in the final group game, but the superior goal difference played its part in sending the Swedes to the play-off as one of the best second placed teams.
It was an unbeaten home record that helped them achieved this. They had beaten France 2-1 and then the most important 8-0 drubbing of Luxembourg which gave them the upper hand before going to the Netherlands for the final game.
On the other hand, Italy were in a direct tussle with Spain for the automatic qualification. But, a 3-0 loss at the Santiago Bernabeu in September sealed their fate and eventually finished 5 points behind the leaders. The defeat at Spain is Italy’s lone defeat in the qualifiers with the remaining 9 games saw 7 wins and 2 draws.
Sweden Team News
Mikael Lustig will miss the first leg clash with a suspension.
While head-coach Janne Andersson is sweating on the fitness of Jimmy Durmaz.
Sweden Predicted Line-up (4-4-2)
Olsen – Augustinsson, Granqvist, Lindelof, Krafth – Forsberg, Ekdal, Johansson, Larsson – Berg, Toivonen.
Italy Team News
Gian Piero Ventura has the luxury of a fully fit squad at his disposal.
All eyes will be on the Ciro Immobile, who has been in stunning form Lazio and scored 14 goals from 11 league appearances so far this season.
Italy: Predicted Line-up (4-4-2)
Buffon – Darmian, Bonucci, Chiellini, Florenzi – Insigne, Veratti, Rossi, Candreva – Belotti, Immobile.
Sweden vs Italy: Head-to-head
Italy are unbeaten in the last 6 meetings with Italy in all competitions, 5 wins and 1 draw.
Their most recent meeting was at the Euro 2016 group stage. A late goal from Eder gave Italy a narrow 1-0 win.
However, at home, Sweden have a strong record against Italy. They lost just 1 of the 8 games and won 4 and drew 3.
Sweden vs Italy: Predictions
There is no doubt on this being a highly cagey affair. Sweden have a stunning home form and a strong record at their own turf against the Italians. Therefore, the visitors will want to take the decider to their backyard without any damage. So, don’t surprise if this ends in a boring draw.
Correct Score Prediction: 1-1 draw at 6.00 odd.
Sweden vs Italy: Bet Tips
Under 2.5 goals for 1.56 odd, due to the defensive nature of both teams.
Double Chance – Sweden or Draw for 1.62 on the back of host’s strong home record.
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