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Sweden vs Czech Republic in the FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Play-Offs on March 24, 2022 – Odds & Prediction

Sweden vs Czech Republic in the FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Play-Offs on March 24, 2022 – Odds & Prediction

A late capitulation in qualifying proved to be the undoing of Sweden, as defeats to Georgia and Group B-toppers Spain ultimately left them in second place.

That followed a decent, albeit unspectacular showing at Euro 2020 where they reached the Round of 16, but they have been consistent in their ability to qualify for major tournaments in more recent times.

Having reached the quarter finals of the 2018 World Cup, Sweden will hope to follow that up with another appearance in Qatar later this year.

As for Czech Republic, they finished in third place in their group behind both Belgium and Wales, while they last qualified for the World Cup back in 2006.

However, they went one better than their upcoming opponents last summer, reaching the quarter finals of Euro 2020, with wins over the Netherlands and Scotland, a draw with Croatia and a narrow defeat to England at Wembley showing that they have pedigree at the top level.

Continue reading for our expert football betting tips for the clash.

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Match OddsDraw
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Either Team on Penalties

While the Czechs scored 14 goals and conceded nine in eight qualifying games, Sweden bagged 12 goals and conceded six in their eight outings.

That doesn’t suggest that this will be a thriller, and so it could come down to the finer details with rival bosses Janne Andersson and Jaroslav Silhavy having to come up with crucial game-plans to come out on top.

With both sides known for their defensive organisation and discipline on which their attacking players can go out and win the game, this one could be a nail-biter that goes the distance as it’s difficult to pick between the two.

To reach the 2018 World Cup, Sweden stunned Italy with a hard-fought, narrow 1-0 win at San Siro in the second leg of their playoff clash, and so they will be fully aware of how high the tension and pressure will be.

Considering all of this, the odds of 5/1 (LeoVegas) – as well available with all of the best betting sites – for the game to be won on Penalties by Either Team are appealing, as this could easily be a cagey encounter between two sides that weren’t particularly prolific or clinical in qualifying.

Sweden Form, squad news, opinion

Sweden’s form isn’t great coming into this one, having lost back-to-back games in qualifying to Georgia and Spain, both of which though came on the road.

Prior to that, they won their last three consecutive games at home, while there was also another defeat away from home in Greece.

That shows their reliance and strength on home soil, and that could prove to be a crucial factor in this clash.

Much like their upcoming opponents, they do rely on familiar faces with Zlatan Ibrahimovic even returning in qualifying at the grand old age of 40, while the likes of Alexander Isak, Dejan Kulusevski and Emil Forsberg will need to be at the top of their respective games.

We know what we get with Sweden to an extent, and they’ll likely once again be difficult to break down and capable of producing moments of quality to go into this as the favourites.

Czech Republic form, squad news, opinion

It was a strong finish to qualifying for the Czechs, as they registered back-to-back wins over Estonia and Belarus, while picking up draws with Wales and Ukraine prior to that.

It’s perhaps important to note, though, that three of those games were played at home, and in their last real test away from home, they suffered a 3-0 defeat to Belgium.

Similarly to their rivals in this playoff game, they are a physical, organised and disciplined side that will make it difficult for Sweden to create openings, and so that plays back into the narrative that this will be a closely fought encounter with little between the two sides.

If they can keep it tight, they certainly have a chance. However, they’ll need someone to step up and produce something in the final third if this is to be decided in normal time.

History

These two nations have met three times since 2002, and sticking with the script laid out above, it’s been difficult to pick between them.

Czech Republic secured the only win with a 2-1 triumph in 2005, while the other two meetings ended in draws.

These two sides really are finely matched, and while it may not be a classic, it will undoubtedly be a tense and fascinating showdown.

About the Venue

The Friends Arena in Stockholm holds over 50,000 and so we can expect a raucous atmosphere to be created by the Swedes.

Last year, the national team played nine games at the stadium, and it’s certainly a happy hunting ground for them as they recorded eight wins and one draw, scoring 18 and conceding just four.

That would suggest that Czech Republic have it all to do in a difficult environment, but that should strengthen their resolve to make it difficult for Sweden to find openings, and that could easily raise the frustration levels quickly if they hold out.

Conclusion

That is a daunting home record that Sweden built last year, and so that tilts the tie firmly in their favour.

However, with the stakes higher and the pressure building, both sides will want to avoid making costly mistakes and will rely on their defensive discipline to set a foundation.

That could make it a tight game with little in the way of chances, and that could then set us up for a thrilling period of extra-time, and ultimately penalties to split the two sides.

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