Italy vs Sweden Betting Preview – World Cup 2018 Qualification

11th November 2017 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup 2018 Betting Predictions
World Cup 2018 Betting Predictions

The whole of Italy shuddered on Friday night as the Azzurri lost the first leg of their World Cup play off against Sweden. The Italians were undone in the second half by a wickedly deflected shot that beat veteran Gianluigi Buffon. So now they have to steel themselves for a big night at the San Siro on Monday to avoid the unthinkable of Italy not being a World Cup. This was always going to be a tough game for them but they came on strong in the second half and created plenty of chances and even though they are down in the tie at half time, they most certainly are not out of this at all.

Italy vs Sweden Odds

Italy 4/7, Draw 3/1 Sweden 9/2

Italy vs Sweden Betting Tips

This tie is still pretty much hanging in the balance. Sweden holds a 1-0 advantage after taking a home win over the Azzurri in Stockholm on Friday night. Italy are here because of being unlucky to have drawn Spain in their qualification group. They didn’t get that favourable of a draw in this play off tie either. The first leg was really open in the first ten minutes with chances at both ends but Sweden got themselves on top in the first 45, producing six shots to one at half time. Italy did come back a little bit after the break and the Italians had more possession in the game. But Sweden’s breakthrough came when Sweden’s Jakob Johansson drilled home from 20 yards, the ball taking a massive a Daniele de Rossi deflection to break the deadlock. So Italy are shuddering at the moment and need to up their game but they are odds-on favourites at bet365 to win back at the San Siro and turn this around.

Italy took a 1-0 victory over Sweden at Euro 2016 and overall had a strong head to head record against the Swedes. Italy are up W11 D5 L6. But at least that is a positive for the Azzurri and given their powerful home form, it’s unlikely that they are going to lose this second leg. Italy are unbeaten in 44 competitive home matches now, a fantastic run which goes all the way back to 1999 and reads W36 D8. That’s some record and you would expect them to be better in this game. A 1-0 correct score for Italy at bet365 will have some appeal but they are going to need more than that. Italy are W7 D2 L1 from ten previous home games against Sweden and the Azzurri are now W3 D1 L2 in their last six games home and away in both competitive and friendly matches after their slip in Stockholm, the other loss in the sequence coming against Spain in the group stage qualifiers.

How will Sweden handle the pressure of this one now? Do they try and sit back for 90 minutes at the San Siro? That would be a long, long night for them if that turns out to be their approach. A positive mindset gives them a shot at killer away goal which would pretty much finish the tie and get them to Russia 2018. Both teams to score at bet365 may have some appeal as the Swedes will continue to make a good contest of this and they do have some good quality going forward as well, notably through Marcus Berg, who netted eight times in qualifying and with Italy having to press in this one, the Swedes could set themselves up for the counterattack well. They showed through the qualifiers, in ensuring the Netherlands didn’t get a place at the World Cup, that they can turn on the goals.

However, they are facing Italy’s formidable home form and they haven’t ever really done well in Italy. They are not carrying great away form overall currently either with Sweden having lost three of their last four road games now, suffering defeats to Bulgaria, Holland and France out on their travels in the World Cup group stage. That will make them just a little bit vulnerable. Sweden does have goals in them if they need to come out and attack and over 2.5 goals at bet365 may well be worth a flutter because frankly, that first leg was more wide open than anyone would have ever imagined it would have been. Sweden matched Italy well in that first leg and they are facing an invoicing Italian side, who really didn’t convince in their group stage.

This could be all about how well the Swede handle the intimidating atmosphere that awaits them at the San Siro. They will be competitive and make Italy work, but you can see the Italians getting back in the tie on home soil and producing a win.

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* All mentioned odds were valid at the time of writing. Betting odds are subject to fluctuations. Please check the current odds with the respective bookmaker!

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