Italy look for back-to-back wins when they face Sweden at the stadium on Friday evening.
Antonio Conte’s men produced an excellent display in the 2-0 win against the FIFA ranked 1 Belgium in the group opener on Monday. Italy were well organized and disciplined throughout the full 90 minutes and then win suddenly made them favourites to emerge as group winners.
Sweden were lucky to come out with a point from their opening group game against Ireland. This was a match they were expected to win and have every reason to be disappointed. The Swedes were probably the better team on the field, but they were fairly ineffective and their defense was ripped open many times. Ibrahimovic and co. were helped by an own goal from Ciaran Clark in the 70th minute to cancel out Wes Hoolahan’s opener to share the spoils on the night.
Italy vs Sweden: Predicted Line-ups
Italy (3-5-2): Buffon – Chiellini, Bonucci, Barzagli – Candreva, Parolo, Motta, Giaccherini, Darmian – Zaza, Immobile.
Sweden (4-4-2): Isaksson – Olsson, Lindelof, Granqvist, Johansson – Forsberg, Lewicki, Kallstrom, Durmaz – Guidetti, Ibrahimovic.
Italy vs Sweden: Head-to-Head Stats
- The teams had met on 22 occasions and Italy lead the head-to-head record with 10 wins, 6 draws and 6 defeats.
- Italy faced Sweden twice at the Euros, in 2000 and 2004 and are unbeaten with a draw and win respectively.
- They had on two occasions at the World Cups and share a win each – Sweden winning 3-2 in 1950 and Italy won 1-0 in 1970.
- Italy are on a 4 match unbeaten run against Sweden across all formats, with 3 wins and 1 draw.
Belgium vs Italy: Prediction
Italy were very impressive in the 2-0 win against Belgium and they will be keen for another win to secure qualification to the quarter finals. Sweden on the other hand may be heading towards exit if they fail to take a point from this encounter.
Italy had some hiccups in the build up to the Euro 2016, but they finished the warm-ups strongly by winning back-to-back games keeping clean sheets. Their overall display against Belgium shows that they are a team growing in confidence.
Sweden have draws three of their last four games and their inability to win matches was well evident on Monday evening. They are more of a one man team, if Ibrahimovic is not in the mood, then Sweden hardly score goals.
Moreover, Sweden haven’t won against Italy in the last 4 matches, even though their last meeting was in 2009. And on current form they hardly stand a chance to trouble Antonio Conte’s men. But we must wait to see what Zlatan Ibrahimovic has up his sleeves when his team needs him the most.
I back Italy to win this one with easy and expect them to keep a clean sheet.
Exact Score Prediction: Italy 2-0 Sweden.
- Italy to win.
- Under 2.5 goals.
- Half Time – Italy