Betting-Previews.com takes a look at a World Cup 2020 Qualifiers match between Greece and Sweden, who will cross swords on Wednesday, September 8, at OAKA Stadium in Athens, Greece. It will mark their first meeting since June 2008, when Sweden won 2-0.
Greece vs Sweden
When: Wednesday, September 8– 21:45 EEST
Where: OAKA Stadium in Athens, Greece
Weather: Intermittent Clouds, 22°C
Referee: Sergei Karasev (RUS)
Greece and Sweden last met over 13 years ago when Sweden defeated Greece 2-0 on their home soil during the first round of the European Championship. A lot of time has passed since, and a lot has changed, so we shouldn’t overvalue that result; however, based on what we have seen from these two nations of late, it’s more than fair to expect Sweden to emulate that success tonight.
Sweden currently occupy the second spot in World Cup 2020 Qualifiers Group B, one point behind Spain, with two more games in hand. Greece, meanwhile, have managed only three points from three games, which in theory keeps their dreams of qualifying for the World Cup alive, albeit they will need to start showing a bit more if they wish to catch up to Spain and Sweden.
Greece Need To Start Winning
John Van’t Schip’s men drew all three of their World Cup 2022 Group B matches, which includes draws against Spain (1-1), Georgia (1-1), and Kosovo (1-1). Even though Greece started their campaign with a draw against Spain – which was a relatively solid result – they severely underperformed against Kosovo and Georgia. Results like that make it hard to be convinced that the Greeks can win tonight.
It goes without saying that Greece need to step up their game and start winning. They have proven that they can compete against Spain, but there is no excuse for only managing a point against Kosovo and Georgia.
Interestingly, Greece have lost only one game across their last 12, albeit they have won only five during that stretch – against Moldova (2-0, 2-0), Cyprus (2-1), and Norway (1-2). The remaining six draws came against Slovenia (0-0), Kosovo (0-0, 1-1), Spain (1-1), Georgia (1-1), and Belgium (1-1).
Sweden In Hot Form
Like Greece, Sweden have played only three games so far at the World Cup 2020 Qualifiers. But unlike Greece, the Blue and Yellow took all nine points, with wins against Georgia (1-0), Kosovo (3-0) and Spain (2-1).
With results like that, it’s more than fair to say that Sweden are one of the main candidates to qualify for Qatar – that is, if they can keep their wheels spinning and deliver in the second round of play. Last week, Sweden faced off against Spain at home, when they conceded the first goal only five minutes in, but came back and responded with two goals of their own in 6’ and 57’ via Alexander Isak and Viktor Claesson.
It’s worth noting that Spain had 69% ball possession and shot the ball 4/11, while Sweden managed 31% possession and were 4/6 with their shots. Even though Spain had more ball at their feet, that doesn’t mean much since La Roja usually play like that, and if we draw a line, the final score was a fair result.
Much of Sweden’s success on the day was thanks to their solid defence, which has proven to be challenging to crack. That’s nothing new, seeing how Sweden conceded more than a goal in only one of their last 10 outings (3-2 against Poland at EURO 2020) while conceding only nine goals over that stretch.
Greece vs Sweden Betting Pick
We don’t expect Sweden to make any changes ahead of tonight’s match. They have done well with their current formation against Spain, so they should do fine against Greece as well.
On the other side, Greece might want to make some changes to improve upon their showings, albeit this team looks pretty one-dimensional and very resilient to changes.
Unless we see an entirely different version of Greece tonight – which is unlikely – it’s hard to doubt the visitors. Sweden are in excellent form and won’t want to miss the opportunity to go 4-0 and overtake Spain as the new group leaders.
Prediction: Sweden +0.00 Asian Handicap – 1.73 at Sportmarket