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This draw means one of the game's most dazzling stars will be miss the World Cup, and Al Hain-Cole expects the visiting captain to do his utmost to ensure it isn't him

A heavyweight clash takes place on Friday night as Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal welcome Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Sweden to Estadio da Luz for the first leg of their World Cup play-off.

The hosts missed out on automatic qualification after finishing behind Russia in the group stages but are favourites at 13/20 (1.65) with bet365 to take the upper hand in the tie with victory in front of their own fans.

Erik Hamren's men clinched the runners-up spot in a tricky group dominated by Germany and are available at 17/4 (4.25) to put one foot in Brazil with a vital away win.

Four of the last five meetings between these opponents have resulted in draws, and there are odds of 11/4 (3.75) on offer for them to cancel each other out in this one.

Although it may be seen as slightly disrespectful to the general wealth of talent on display in such a clash, it is no surprise that the match is being painted as Cristiano Ronaldo versus Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The pair are among the front-runners for this year's Ballon d'Or and their exploits so far this season underline why the loser of this tie will be sorely missed at next summer's showpiece event.

With 15 goals between them after four group games for Paris Saint-Germanin and Real Madrid, the attackers are currently the two top scorers in this season's Champions League, while Ibrahimovic's impressive record of 15 goals in 17 games for his club so far is overshadowed by Ronaldo's 26 in 19.

However, the Blue-Yellow captain was arguably the more influential during the group stages, scoring five goals to his counterpart's three, and will be confident of hitting the back of the net against a Seleccao defence that kept just two clean sheets in eight qualifiers, conceding seven against Northern Ireland and Israel alone.

With 20 goals in his last 19 games for club and country, the Swedish talisman is well worth backing at 21/10 (3.10) to expose this weakness and grab a precious away goal for the visitors.

Nevertheless, considering Paulo Bento's men have not failed to score in their last 13 qualifying matches on home soil, even money (2.00) quotes are not to be missed on both sides finding the net in an exciting match on Friday.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Both teams to score for a 2pt stake at Evens (2.00) with bet365
Ibrahimovic to score anytime for a 1pt stake at 21/10 (3.10) with bet365

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Al Hain-Cole is an experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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