Italy v Sweden Betting: Azzurri to miss out on World Cup for first time in 60 years

Giampiero Ventura's men have it all to do after Friday's first-leg and our tipster thinks that the hosts could be heading for a shock exit in Milan

Sweden will secure a spot at World Cup 2018 should they complete a famous World Cup qualification play-off victory against Italy in Milan on Monday.

Jakob Johansson scored the only goal of the game in Friday's first-leg in Solna to give Sweden something to protect in the return leg against Giampiero Ventura's men - and the stage is set for a dramatic showdown.

Italy have not failed to reach the World Cup finals since 1958 and the Azzurri's current crop will be desperate to ensure that they are not responsible for that remarkable run of successful qualification campaigns coming to an abrupt end.

Manolo Gabbiadini Italy

Despite defeat in Friday's first-leg, the Azzurri are chalked up as Betfair Sportsbook's 1/2 (1.50) favourites to claim the victory that they crave at San Siro, while the odds compilers offer even money (2.0) that Ventura's team turn the tie around and take their place at next summer's showpiece at Sweden's expense.

Janne Andersson's men, though, will be in confident mood of securing qualification following that impressive first-leg victory in Solna; Betfair Sportsbook go 13/2 (7.50) that the Swedes secure a World Cup place in style by claiming a famous victory in Milan, while the same firm offer 14/5 (3.80) that the match remains level at the end of 90 minutes - a result that would see the Azzurri eliminated - whilst they also offer 17/20 (1.85) that Sweden reach Russia.

Italy's inability to find the net in Solna could prove pivotal for Ventura's men will need to score at least three goals should Sweden score in Milan, and the importance of securing an away goal will not be lost on Andersson's charges so the visitors may well go for the throat from the first whistle.

Italy Sweden graphic

Betfair Sportsbook go 27/10 (3.70) that Sweden score the opening goal of the game, while the same firm offer 6/4 (2.50) that there are goals at both ends when these two teams lock horns; such a scenario would leave Italy in real danger of missing out on next summer's showpiece.

Keeping a clean sheet, then, could be central to Italian hopes of qualification and Betfair Sportsbook go just 4/6 (1.67) that Sweden fail to find the net, while the same firm go even money (2.0) that Ventura's men win without conceding; Betfair Sportsbook go 7/5 (2.40) that the Azzurri win by at least two clear goals in this game.

Italy, as four-time world champions, have a proud history in this competition and many neutral observers will expect them to progress given the high regard in which the Azzurri is held in the game around the globe.

The Scandinavians, though, have stolen a march on Ventura's men with that vital victory in Solna and the 17/20 (1.85) quote for Sweden to qualify could well provide punters with a path to profit ahead of Monday's match in Milan.

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Sweden to qualify at 17/20 (1.85) for a 1pt stake with Betfair