16th of June 2016 Author: Johnny Karp
Italy will be looking to consolidate their position at the top of Group E when they face Sweden on Friday. The Swedes will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing performance and a 1-1 draw in their opening match against Ireland. The two sides have met 22 times in competitive matches, Italy have won 10 times, Sweden clinched 6 victories while 6 matches were drawn. The last match between the two teams was a friendly in November 2009, which Italy won 1-0 on home soil.
Italy produced an impressive performance in their opening match, beating Belgium 2-0. Their confidence might also be boosted by the fact that they have not lost against Sweden in the last five direct matches, even though the last competitive fixture between the two nations was in 2004. If Italy win they will make sure of qualification to the next round, but if they lose things could get really complicated before the last match against Ireland. Graziano Pelle, who scored against Belgium, picked up an ankle knock but should be fit to play. Head coach Antonio Conte might decide to be cautious and keep him on the bench though.
Sweden did not live up to the expectations in their opening match, Ireland were the better team through most of the match and the Swedes were somewhat lucky to get a point thanks to an unfortunate own goal. Their recent form is worrying, with just two wins out of the last six international matches. They will have a chance to qualify even if they lose this match, but in that case they would need to beat Belgium in the final group match. Mikael Lustig is in doubt after having picked up a knock against Ireland, but the rest of the players are all available.
Italy: Buffon - Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini - Bernardeschi, Giaccherini, Motta, Parolo, De Sciglio - Immobile, Zaza
Sweden: Isaksson - Johansson, Lindelof, Granqvist, Olsson - Larsson, Kallstrom, Lewicki, Forsberg - Ibrahimovic, Guidetti
My prediction: Italy to win 1-0.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Italy win - 1.91
Draw - 3.20
Sweden win - 5.25
9th of June 2016
16th of November 2015
Do you think Italy vs Zlatan ? :D
I have the impression that all written off Italy, but they are favorites from the shadow. Italians know how to play on the result, if they score first today, i think they will close in defense and keep the result, because with 4 points they probably go in second round, but with 6pt thats for sure.
Sweden has a lower quality players, but we have seen in this championship that surprises are possible.
I guess not everyone remembers 2004. and that goal that in that time young Zlatan scored versus Italy. He tricked Buffon and rest is the history. For all the good reasons, he is the biggest threat for the Italian squad. But I believe in Italians, they are so far my favorites for taking the title and I think that they got what it takes to swipe a victory today. They do not have stars like they used to, but their team composition is on point. I predict 2:0, same as vs Belgium.
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