Sweden – Group F – Overview and Sweden betting tips
You’ll get to see a new-look Swedish side at the 2018 World Cup, as they no longer have the towering figure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic amongst their ranks.
Despite this, the Sweden team have managed to come together to pull off many memorable performances in the World Cup qualifiers, and new manager, Janne Andersson, will be keen to show the world that a new era has begun. But do Sweden have what it takes to emerge from a tough Group F? Read our team guide and find the best odds for a Sweden win.
Sweden prediction: How well will they do?
As Sweden only just scraped through their qualifiers with a memorable win against Italy, there will be many concerns about Sweden’s chances of reaching the knock-out rounds. Despite this, we think that the disciplined team could put in strong performances against their Group F competitors, Germany, South Korea and Mexico.
Sweden should have no trouble in disposing of South Korea in their opening match. The game kicks off in Nizhny Novgorod on 18 June and recent form suggests that this could be time for Sweden to shine. Not only did South Korea look extremely vulnerable in qualifying, but we expect that this will be the game where their new Swedish star midfielder, Emil Forsberg, makes a big impact on the global stage.
Sweden’s next match is a little less comfortable as they have to face the World Cup champions, Germany, in Sochi on 23 June. Most bookies would be giving you very long odds for Sweden picking up a point from this tough match. But we have to remember that Sweden managed to beat strong teams like Italy and France in their qualifiers and there will be many Swedish fans hoping to see similar performances in Russia this summer.
If Sweden don’t crumble before the Germany onslaught, then they will have all to play for when their final Group F match takes place against Mexico in Yekaterinburg on 27 June. Mexico are never an easy team to play against, and this looks to be a match where Sweden will have to prove their strong defensive qualities against a Mexican attack that includes the formidable likes of Javier Hernández.
Most punters will back Germany to easily win Group F, and as South Korea are one of the tournament’s weaklings, we expect it to be tussle between Sweden and Mexico for second place. Betclic currently have Mexico just ahead of Sweden with odds of 6.00 compared to Sweden’s odds of 7.00 to win the group, so why not back Janne Andersson’s side to pull off the unthinkable.
Best Odds Available at Betclic
Journey to the World Cup — Who did Sweden beat to qualify?
Sweden created one of the biggest footballing new stories of recent years when they managed to kick Italy out of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Whilst the focus was undoubtedly on Italy’s misery, it also highlighted how the Swedish team showed a new level of discipline and defensive dexterity.
Sweden reached their play-off against Italy by coming second in their qualifying group behind France. Whilst Sweden’s qualifying record wasn’t flawless, you only have to look at their triumphant 2-1 home win against France to see how Janne Andersson’s side have been quietly growing in confidence.
Although a 2-3 away loss against Bulgaria showed that Sweden are capable of plenty of defensive errors, they managed to get seven clean sheets during qualifying and remained unbeaten at home. But before you get carried away, it’s worth remembering that Sweden suffered two friendly defeats against the likes of Chile and Romania and so there is still plenty of work to do in creating the new Swedish team.
Best players for Sweden: Who should you be betting on?
The Swedish team might not be packed with household names, but there’s enough quality here to cause a problem for all of their Group F opponents. Most people will be keeping a close eye on the midfielder, Emil Forsberg, who has just about managed to eclipse all memories of the Zlatan era thanks to his clever play and strong passing skills.
Victor Lindelof has yet to find his feet in the Manchester United team, but the young star is key player in Sweden’s tough defence alongside skipper Andreas Granqvist, and FC Krasnodar’s Viktor Claesson has been showing some rare skill on the left wing and in set pieces.
The key thing to remember about the new-look Sweden side is the fact that they all seem to work together as a team without standing in the shadow of Zlatan’s overwhelming personality. And if you were looking for a betting option for picking up the Golden Boost, then you could take advantage of the Swedish bookmaker Betsson’s odds of 201.00 for Ola Toivonen to be the tournament’s top goalscorer.
Best Odds Available at Betsson
Who manages Sweden?
Sweden’s dismal Euro 16 performance marked the end of Erik Hamren’s reign. Thankfully, it looks like new coach, Janne Andersson, has been quick to draw a line under this era and has successfully rebooted the Swedish side with a newfound sense of discipline and teamwork.
Whilst Andersson’s 4-4-2 system is fairly unspectacular, it has given Sweden’s defence plenty of stability and it has helped provide key playmakers like Emil Forsberg with lots of opportunities to work the ball. Andersson hasn’t had too much experience of international football, but the 55-year old successfully led the club side, Norrkoping, to the Swedish title, and hopes will be high that he can mark a real change in Sweden’s World Cup fortunes.
Why bet on Sweden?
Sweden have appeared in no less than 12 World Cup tournaments, and whilst they have never managed to beat their semi-final appearance in 1958, they always seem to provide plenty of challenges for their opponents.
Most bookies would be sceptical about Sweden’s chances of reaching the latter stages of the 2018 World Cup, but we think that they have the discipline necessary to beat Mexico to gain second spot in Group F behind Germany. This would mean that Sweden could face the winners of Group E who would probably be Uruguay, and so there is still a fairly realistic chance that we could see Sweden in the quarter finals.
This might surprise some punters as many people were speculating that Zlatan’s retirement would only harm Sweden’s footballing ambitions. But it seems that Janne Andersson has worked wonders in creating a hard-working Swedish team that are able to come together to put in some very credible performances against some more highly ranked sides.
It will probably fall on Emil Forsberg’s shoulders to make magic happen for his teammates this summer, and the midfielder has shown that he has the creativity and raw talent to create plenty of goalscoring opportunities. So whilst betting on Sweden might not be the most attractive option, if you’re willing to take SunBets’ odds of 100/1 for Sweden to win the 2018, you could end up with some very respectable profits. But regardless of what happens in Russia this summer, it seems that the future is looking bright for Swedish football.
Best Odds Available at SunBets