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Italy v Sweden predictions, betting tips and match preview - World Cup play-off finely poised for mouthwatering second leg

Dean Smith 12 Nov 2017
  • Italy take on Sweden in the second leg of this World Cup qualifying play-off on Monday
  • Blagult take a 1-0 lead into the away leg after they ground out a victory in Solna on Friday
  • A quick check of the to qualify odds will show you how finely balanced this tie stands
Daniele de Rossi (centre) in action in the first leg

Italy v Sweden predictions, betting tips and match preview here. This World Cup play-off clash is finely poised for mouthwatering second leg after the Blagult take a narrow lead to Milan after their 1-0 victory at the Friends Arena.


  • Italy have not failed to qualify for the World Cup finals since 1958
  • Sweden have won just one of their last four away matches
  • Blagult haven't managed to beat the Azzurri on Italian soil before

Italy v Sweden betting preview


Italy are on the brink of doing the unthinkable and failing to qualify for the World Cup Finals for the first time since 1958. Gli Azzurri were handed a tough test against Spain in their qualifying group so it was no surprise that they only managed to finish second in the group behind the 2010 tournament winners. They dropped just five points from the available 30 in qualifying, four against La Furia Roja and two in a surprise draw with Macedonia.

Heading to Sweden first for this qualifying play-off appeared to suit Gian Piero Ventura's men as they could rely on their experienced and quality defence to keep things tight and ensure things remained in their own hands ahead of the second leg in Milan, but instead a second half goal from Jakob Johansson gave the hosts a narrow victory and that means that to keep their qualification hopes alive the hosts need to pick up a victory at odds of 11/20 with Betfair.

Sweden's World Cup record has been a mixed bag over the years. Although they have qualified for the majority of the tournaments and have even reached the semi-finals stage on no fewer than four occasions including the final of that 1958 tournament that Italy failed to qualify for, they have failed to reach the finals on no fewer than seven occasions, including the last two tournaments, so the hunger will be there for qualify this time.

Like Italy, Blagult will have felt slightly hard done by in being handed a tough qualifying group including both France and the Netherlands. Les Bleus did manage to top the group despite losing at the Friends Arena, although the struggling Oranje finished down in third place, leaving Sweden in the play-off position. They've never managed to win on Italian soil against the Azzurri and they don't particularly need to win this game to qualify, you can still back them to at 6/1 with Paddy Power.

Although Sweden have the narrow advantage as things stand, the thought of a World Cup without Italy is difficult to comprehend and with the home advantage at the San Siro you have to expect the Azzurri to turn in an improved performance in this second leg. On paper, their squad may not be as strong as it once was, but they're still the stronger of these two sides and although it may not be easy and they may even need extra time to do so, Italy to qualify at 10/11 with Ladbrokes looks good to us.

Ciro Immobile has managed just seven international goals in a career that has seen him drop in and out of the starting line-up for his country. His current domestic form is incredible though and the Lazio marksman has racked up no fewer than 18 goals in just 16 appearances in all competitions so far this term. With confidence clearly flowing through the 27 year old at the moment and we can't resist backing him for a goal here at odds of 7/5 with Coral.

Recommended bets:
Italy to qualify @ 10/11 with Ladbrokes
Ciro Immobile to score at any time @ 7/5 with Coral


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Italy v Sweden predictions, betting tips and match preview - World Cup play-off finely poised for mouthwatering second leg

Italy v Sweden predictions, betting tips and match preview here. This World Cup play-off clash is finely poised for mouthwatering second leg after the Blagult take a narrow lead to Milan after their 1-0 victory at the Friends Arena.

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