Italy 11/8 to beat Sweden in Friday’s World Cup playoff
Competition: World Cup playoff
Market: Italy to beat Sweden
Odds: 11/8 @ Bet365
Despite club football being benched for the week, the average football fan will be hugely excited about this week’s games. The international fixtures are often derided as being boring, but the fact that the World Cup playoffs are taking place will see a massive amount of interest in the games, particularly for Italy’s trip to Sweden, which sees two very good teams going head-to-head.
Sweden’s World Cup qualifying campaign was one that threatened to end in heartbreak despite a strong showing throughout their 10 games. Six wins, one draw and three defeats helped them to 19 points, four behind France. Interestingly, Sweden were almost usurped to second by Holland, with the Dutch beating them in their final game, but Sweden were able to sneak through via their superior goal difference. Their game against Italy will be a huge test as they have drawn the best team to have finished in second-place.
Italy are only in a playoff because they were put in the same group as Spain. The Spanish cruised through with 28 points, with Italy finishing on 23. 21 goals scored is a strong return, while conceding just eight times shows that the old Italian defensive solidity is still alive and well. They will know that a win over Sweden in their away game could be huge as very few teams go to Italy and get a draw, let alone a win. With this in mind, Sweden will need to be positive in their home game, but we are backing Italy to win with odds of 11/8 from Bet365.
Bet: Italy to beat Sweden in Friday’s World Cup playoff first leg: 11/8 @ Bet365>>