AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW: Italy v Sweden

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t must be me. Every match I watch ends up 0-0. So if you’ve done goals tonight just PayPal me a score and I’ll quite happily watch Coronation Street.

My weekend viewing:

Denmark 0 Ireland 0

Switzerland 0 Northern Ireland 0
Greece 0 Croatia 0

(* all after 90 minutes, or rather 270 minutes of my life I won’t be getting back).

At least Italy v Sweden tonight can’t finish 0-0….. well certainly not from Italy’s perspective as they need to chase the game to avoid not qualifying for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

It’s delicately poised after Sweden’s 1-0 first leg win and it’s virtually a coin flip on the Star Sports ‘to qualify’ market.

Italy’s failure to get an away goal puts further pressure on them to come out of the traps quickly – something the Italian’s aren’t always great at when it comes to football often needing an eternity to find their stride.

It seems unfathomable to have a World Cup without Italy but they were really average on Friday and Sweden deserved their win which came courtesy of Jakob Johansson’s 61st minute goal which took a fortunate deflection.

A goal for Sweden would change the permutations dramatically especially if they score first and leave the Italians needing three goals with the away goal rule applying.

Italy v Sweden
FIFA World Cup 2018 Play-Off 2nd Leg
19:45 Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Main Event

(Maximum 10 matches)
Nov 2017 WORLD CUP Sweden 1-0 Italy
Jun 2016 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS Italy 1-0 Sweden
Nov 2009 INTERNATIONAL Italy 1-0 Sweden
Jun 2004 EURO CHAMPIONSHIPS Italy 1-1 Sweden
Jun 2000 EURO CHAMPIONSHIPS Italy 2-1 Sweden
Feb 2000 INTERNATIONAL Italy 1-0 Sweden
Jun 1998 INTERNATIONAL Sweden 1-0 Italy
Nov 1987 EURO CHAMPIONSHIPS Italy 2-1 Sweden
Jun 1987 EURO CHAMPIONSHIPS Sweden 1-0 Italy
Sep 1984 INTERNATIONAL Italy 1-0 Sweden

One thing looks certain – it’s going to be a very physical game, as the first leg was and referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz is likely to have a very busy night.

A red card inside 90 minutes can be backed at 9/4 which should give me plenty of interest, especially if we get a few yellows in the first half.

Over 5.5 cards at 10/11 looks well worth taking too, again a 90 minute wager.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)

BACK RED CARD 3 points at 9/4 with Star Sports

BACK OVER 5.5 CARDS 12 points at 10/11 with Star Sports

PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 27.23 points