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Italy v Sweden predictions, betting tips & match preview: Under-performing Italy to win in 90 minutes – but will it be enough?

Leigh Copson in Football 11 Nov 2017
  • Italy v Sweden kicks off at 19:45 GMT on Monday night
  • Get free betting tips & predictions for this World Cup qualifier
Giorgio Chiellini of Italy (credit: Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Italy v Sweden predictions for Monday night’s World Cup qualifying play-off. Italy are in serious danger of missing out on a World Cup for the first time since 1958 – so can they turn around their two-legged tie when they host Sweden in the second leg? Read on for all of our free predictions and betting tips.

Italy v Sweden Predictions


Italy v Sweden Betting Tips Explained


Gian Piero Ventura has 90 minutes to save his job and extend Italy’s streak of qualifying for World Cups. The Azzurri have not missed a World Cup tournament since 1958, but they are in serious danger of being absent from Russia next summer after a 1-0 defeat to Sweden in the first leg of this qualifying play-off. Jakob Johansson grabbed the only goal of the first leg, just after the hour mark, and Ventura has told his side they need a “great performance” to turn things around in the second leg on Monday night.

“This result is punishing,” Ventura admitted. “I hope that in Milan the officials give to us what they granted to them here. In a match as important as this we wanted a more even-handed approach. Now all that matters is getting the result. We have to turn everything on its head back in Milan. San Siro must give us a hand too but it is up to us to deliver a great performance for our fans.”

Ventura’s comments about the officials appear to be nothing more than an attempt to mask another dismal performance from his side. The Swedes were physical in their approach to the first leg, but it was up to the Italians to match that intensity and – not for the first time in this qualifying campaign – they produced a lacklustre showing. Ventura believes his team will need a “great performance” to avoid the embarrassment of losing this two-legged tie – but can we really expect one?

After all, this Italian team failed to impress throughout their qualifying group campaign and they were held to a home draw by Macedonia last month. They have also now won just two of their last five games, losing twice, so they are hardly in outstanding form going into this return meeting.

However, despite their woes the Azzurri are unbeaten in their last eight home games and when they have won on home soil they have done it without conceding a goal. Sweden are not great travellers either – they have won only one of their last four away matches and lost three of their five away games in the group stage of qualifying – so an Italy win and a clean sheet should be considered here. Whether that is enough for them to go through or not does not matter for this bet, because it merely covers the 90 minutes and not extra-time and/or penalties of they are needed.

I also recommend – just like I did for the first leg – backing this to be a low-scoring affair. Sweden will head to Italy with a one-goal lead so they are hardly going to go on the offensive, while Italy know that conceding an away goal would be a hammer blow to their chances of turning around this tie. Therefore this is likely to be a tense affair with neither team taking any risks unless they need to, resulting in a lack of goals.

And if you are looking for some statistical backing for this Under 2.5 Total Goals prediction, here are some supporting stats. Each of Italy’s last four international fixtures have produced less than three goals and eight of the previous 10 meetings between these two nations have seen Under 2.5 Total Goals. That is likely to be the case once again here.

Italy v Sweden Stats


  • Sweden hold a 1-0 lead following the first leg of this play-off tie
  • Italy are unbeaten in their last eight home games, winning the last five
  • Italy conceded just two goals at home during the World Cup qualifying group stage
  • Italy kept a clean sheet in each of their three home wins during the group stage of World Cup qualifying
  • Sweden have won only one of their last four away matches
  • Sweden have lost three of their five away matches during World Cup qualifying so far
  • Each of Italy’s last four international fixtures have produced Under 2.5 Total Goals
  • There have been Under 2.5 Total Goals in eight of the last 10 meetings between Italy & Sweden
  • Italy last missed a World Cup back in 1958

Italy v Sweden Predictions




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Italy v Sweden predictions, betting tips & match preview: Under-performing Italy to win in 90 minutes – but will it be enough?

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