Sweden v Italy Betting: Goals at both ends to set up intriguing second leg

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With a trio of in-form strikers to choose from, Al Hain-Cole expects Ventura's men to share the scoresheet with a prolific home side in Stockholm

Sweden will be hoping to make home advantage count when they welcome Italy to the Friends Arena for the first leg of their World Cup qualification play-off.

Having taken 13 points from 15 group matches on home turf, Janne Andersson’s men are 5/2 (3.50) with bet365 to take the initiative by claiming an aggregate lead here.

However, the Azzurri have won four and lost none of the last five meetings between the sides, and are 11/8 (2.38) favourites to put one foot in the finals with a vital away win.

Leonardo Spinazzola Italy

Just one of the hosts’ last 14 fixtures have resulted in draws, but you can get odds of 21/10 (3.10) on them being forced to settle for a draw in this one.

With three defeats from five on the road, home form was certainly a decisive factor in the Blue-Yellow beating the Netherlands to second place in their group.

In fact, only goal difference separated the Scandinavians from their Dutch counterparts, thanks largely to a return of 18 goals scored and just two conceded in five games in front of their own fans.

Sweden Italy graphic

While they will therefore back themselves to find the net at least once against a visiting team that conceded twice in Macedonia, once in Israel and three times in Spain, Swedish chances of keeping another clean sheet seem less assured.

With a trio of in-form strikers to choose from in Ciro Immobile, Simone Zaza and Andrea Belotti, Gian Piero Ventura will expect his team to follow in France and the Netherlands’ footsteps and find the net in Solna.

Germany and Spain are the only two teams to prevent the Italians from getting on the scoresheet in 15 games under their current boss, underlining the size of the task facing the home defence, therefore even odds (2.00) look like solid value on an entertaining clash producing goals at both ends.

Both teams to score at Evens (2.00) for a 1.5pt stake with bet365