World Cup Playoffs, Sweden vs Italy: Off to Stockholm!

Tonight, the Friends Arena in Stockholm will host the first leg of the World Cup qualifying game between Sweden and Italy.
And BetzCenter will be there!

Flying over the clouds

As I am flying over the Alps on this Lufthansa airplane that is taking me to München for my layover, I can only think about one thing: what am I going to bet on tonight?
The match is not easy, being Italian, I do hope that Italy can get away with a nice result, but I’m also aware that our national team is not as strong as it used to be.

The bookmakers are pricing Italy as the favorite here (odds are 2.30 for the away win, if you can call that a favorite), but I think that it’ll be difficult to pick the match winner, extremely difficult and I’m going o stay away from the money line and look to other markets.

To qualify:
Sweden -> 3.5
Italy -> 1.30

Am I just being pessimistic or this price for Italy to go through is simply too low? I think Italy deserves to be favorite here but this seems to short of a price. I think that both teams have a really good chance, I don’t agree with these odds but I will not bet on Sweden … ?‍♂️
Despite Giampiero Ventura’s (Italy’s coach) words during the press conference I imagine that the Italian Team would be happy with trying to make the game a low scoring one.

I was attracted by under 2.5 goals, but I don’t really like the current odds of 1.47; too low!

Ventura said that he is looking forward to scoring an away goal, but he is then opting for this lineup:
Italy (3-5-2): Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Candreva, Parolo, De Rossi, Verratti, Darmian; Belotti, Immobile. Bench: Donnarumma, Perin, Astori, Rugani, Zappacosta, Jorginho, Gagliardini, Florenzi, Bernardeschi, Insigne, Gabbiadini, Eder.
Coach: Ventura.

I don’t know much about the Swedish team but they scored 6 wins, 1 draw and 3 losses during the qualifying group and they finished second with 19 points.
Here is the expected Swedish lineup:
Sweden (4-4-2): Olsen; Krafth, Lindelof, Granqvist, Augustinsson; Claesson, Larsson, Ekdal, Forsberg; Toivonen, Berg. Bench: Johnsson, Nordelfdt, Helander, Jansson, Olsson, Johansson, Durmaz, Holmen, Rohden, Sema, Svensson, Guidetti, Thelin.
Coach: Andersson.

Landed in Stockholm, 6 hours to kickoff!

With 6 hours to go before the start of the match, the only 2 options that I like are under 2.25 goals (current odds 1.575) and Italy -0 on the Asian handicap at 1.525.
I’m thinking that the game could be tight at the beginning with teams trying to be extremely focused on not conceding goals to opponents. Also, the weather is ok right now (6 degrees Celsius), but rain is expected later, which is normally good for unders.
In the end I decided to remain confident with my initial thought and I’m backing the under:

Sweden – Italy: under 2.25 goals @ 1.575

Friends Arena, Stockholm, Sweden vs Italy

Friends Arena, Stockholm, Sweden vs Italy (view from Italy’s fans’ corner)

 

AFTER MATCH UPDATE
The night was bitter for Italian supporters as Sweden managed to get away with a 1-0 win. As expected the game was very tight and teams tried to concede as little as possible, which made our bet a winner!
The second leg will be played in San Siro (Milan, Italy) on Monday and will be extremely interesting with Italy on the edge of elimination.

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Published
7 months ago
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Soccer
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