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Italy vs Sweden - World Cup Qualification Europe Preview and Odds

13/11/2017

Italy vs Sweden - World Cup Qualification Europe Preview and Odds

November 10, 2017 19:45pm - Stadio Olimpico

World Cup Qualification - Playoffs

After a disappointing first leg in which neither team impressed but which left Sweden with a slender one goal advantage thanks to a cruel deflection, football fans will be hoping for something more entertaining in Italy on Monday night.

This much anticipated fixture was notable for the anxiety present amongst the Italian contingent. The nation has qualified for every World Cup since 1958 but are just 90 minutes away from missing out on next year`s trip to Russia. They will be hoping to turn some of that anxiety into positive energy in Rome as they seek to overcome a one-goal deficit.

The good news for the Italians is that their home form has remained strong with five wins and three draws in their eight at home and just one goal conceded in their last seven. That run included a competitive draw against Spain and a friendly stalemate against World champions Germany.

The only concern is that Gian Piero Ventura will chose this game to start tweaking a system that has proved ineffective so far. A move that may have come too late and could cause further confusion amongst his already disillusioned players.

Meanwhile, Sweden might be tempted to just hang on to what they have got despite the fact that a single goal would leave Italy needing three. Any attacking intent could leave them exposed and if Italy score early, the momentum would surely shift in the favour of the home team.

As a result, a cautious game can be expected with the Italians taking the initiative while the Swedes look to frustrate. With just one win in their last four on the road, the stats don`t look great at first glance for the visitors but they did manage to find the net in seven of their last eight away games.

Recent form (All competitions)

Sweden: WLDLW

Italy: LWWLD

Betting odds and tips

Italy are no strangers to pressure but it does feel a little different this time round. With so much at stake, a low scoring game should be expected with the home side coming out on top. However, it may take extra-time or penalties to settle this one.

You can back Under 2.5 Goals at 8/215 and a correct score of 1-0 at 15/4 - both with Bet365.

By Neil Morris