Sweden – Ireland 22.03.2013
Following the amazing comeback against Germany, Sweden can make a giant step
towards the place at the tournament final by defeating their rivals for the second place in the group. Republic of Ireland are in a difficult position at the moment, although a good result at Friends Arena in Solna would certainly see them revive their qualifying campaign.
The team have since continued with impressive showings, beating England, North Korea and Finland, while only losing to Argentina in February. Given the excellent atmosphere in the team and the fact star player Zlatan Ibrahimovic is scoring goals for fun at the moment, Sweden have got to be considered favourites in this match.
Match: Sweden – Ireland 20.45h
League: World Cup Qual.
Our prediction: Home Win Odds: 1.50
Republic of Ireland finally made it to a major tournament as they qualified for the Euro 2012, but they didn’t do themselves proud with their showings in Poland and Ukraine. Yes, the Irish were placed in the same group as Spain, Italy and Croatia, but three comfortable defeats have got to be considered a pretty disappointing result. The team have since struggled for form, and they were very fortunate to win their opening 2014 World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan, having scored two goals in the dying stages of the match. The 6-1 home defeat to Germany proved Giovanni Trapattoni’s side don’t have what it takes to match the best sides in Europe, so they are bound to face a difficult task against in-form Sweden. With several important players missing out, there is every chance Ireland will succumb to yet another defeat.
Home team is closer to win and home advantage, morale and form on their side. Clear home win for me.