Sweden vs Italy Predictions, Betting Tips & Preview
Italy lost only to Spain in group stage qualification, whilst Sweden remained unbeaten at home. Given their slip-ups away from home, Sweden will be hoping they can make the most of their home advantage here.
Game: Sweden vs Italy
Venue: Friends Arena
Kick-off: Friday, 10th November, 7.45PM
Italy lost 3-0 when they visited Spain in September, but that was their only defeat of the group stages. Italy won their remaining four away games in the group including tricky trips to Albania and Israel. De Rossi’s late penalty held their visitors to a 1-1 draw in the reverse. Italy haven’t lost a competitive home game since 1999 which represents the size of the task in front of Sweden.
Such form may be particularly problematic for the Scandinavians who were beaten by France, Netherlands and Bulgaria away from home in the group stage. Their away form overall has been poor, although a 3-2 win in Portugal shows that Sweden do have a surprise in them.
The challenge will be matching the discipline of the Italian’s will be focused first and foremost on keeping their shape for 180 minutes. Although we expect the Italian’s to be so strong at home, it’s easy to overlook their fantastic away form which has seen them lose just one competitive away game since 2006.
Despite playing at home, Sweden are the underdogs. Sweden are best odds 13/5 with Bet365 whilst the draw is available at 2/1 with Sky Bet. The visitors Italy can be backed at 7/5 through Betfred.
The odds create a conundrum here. Many would have hoped for even pricing to take advantage of Italy on the 0AH. Whilst the Italians lose so few away from home, draws are common, and certainly, a scoring draw here would constitute job done in the first leg. Sweden’s undoing could be their eagerness to win the first leg, but in the role of underdogs, opinions shift.
Backing Sweden +0.5AH may make sense given that one team would be far happier than the other with a draw here, and as strong as Italy are, Sweden are starting to build an equally impressive competitive record at their new home and there’s plenty of motivation for them in this game.
Both sides respective home and away games were full of goals in the group stages, and Italy will pick their moments to chase a goal away from home here. Although we have certain expectations of the Italian’s defensively, they just don’t see to be as strong as we’re used to. It’s actually their attack that’s been winning them games.
Back our Free Betting Tip: Both Teams to Score at 15/13 with Bet365
It’s really tough to put a score on this game. Both attacks have been good enough (and defences suspect enough at times) that both teams scoring is a real possibility even in a playoff game. Sweden will feel they’ll need to win this game, whilst Italy will want a goal to take home with them. Over 2.5 goals could be a push though if this game takes some time to open up.
Back our Score Prediction: 1-1 Draw at best odds 11/2 with Betfred
Berg has scored an insane amount of goals in qualifying and it’s hard to ignore him. He has a big influence in this Sweden side and provides a real goal threat. Sweden will need to take their chances when they come, and Berg has been the most clinical hitman in their ranks recently.
Back our Scorer Prediction: Marcus Berg to score at 3/1 with Bet365