Sweden clashes with Azerbaijan at the Friends Arena in Solna, Sweden! Catch the Euro 2024 Qualifiers odds series here, featuring our Sweden-Azerbaijan prediction and pick.
Sweden was beaten 3-0 at home to Belgium in their opening match. This was a heavy defeat considering Janne Andersson’s men were on a blistering run of four consecutive friendly wins, scoring eight goals and keeping two clean sheets in that time.
Azerbaijan was defeated 4-1 away to Austria at the Raiffeisen Arena in Friday’s group curtain-raiser. Prior to that, the Milli Komanda were on a run of five consecutive wins across all competitions, scoring 12 goals and keeping two clean sheets.
Here are the Sweden-Azerbaijan soccer odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
Euro 2024 Qualifiers Odds: Sweden-Azerbaijan Odds
Over 2.5 Goals: -172
Under 2.5 Goals: +140
How to Watch Sweden vs. Azerbaijan
Stream: fuboTV, ViX+
Time: 2:45 PM ET / 11:45 AM PT
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Why Sweden Can Beat Azerbaijan
Sweden is ranked 23rd in the current FIFA rankings, ahead of South Korea, Ukraine, Australia, and Wales. They went to the Round of 16 of the Euro 2020but their best run was going to the semi-finals in 1992.
While the Blågult will be looking to bounce back, they have struggled in competitive outings. The Blue and Yellows’ last competitive victory came last June when they edged out Slovenia in their UEFA Nations League group opener. This was followed by a five-game winless run, capped off with a 1-1 draw to Slovenia last September.
Austria’s victory over the visitors, combined with Sweden’s surprisingly heavy defeat to Belgium has heaped the pressure on Janne Andersson and his players to bounce back with a win at Friends Arena. The Belgians are clear favorites to top Group F, but Sweden and Austria could be fighting for the second automatic qualifying spot behind the Red Devils. Estonia is yet to play its first game in this tourney.
Sweden hopes to continue its impressive run in the Euros. The Swedes have not failed to qualify for a European Championship since Euro 1996, having reached the last 16 last time out at Euro 2020, when they were knocked out by Ukraine after Artem Dovbyk’s strike in extra time.
Having also taken the Blue and Yellow to the quarter-finals of World Cup 2018, Andersson has built up plenty of goodwill since being appointed as his home country’s manager in June 2016. All directions point that the 60-year-old manager will be determined to continue that trend across the current qualifying campaign.
There aren’t any major changes and concerns in the Swedish team compared to their duel with Belgium. Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his long-awaited comeback in a Sweden shirt during the second half of his nation’s defeat to Belgium, and the 41-year-old is primed to start against Azerbaijan in an attempt to provide some inspiration to his teammates. Tottenham Hotspur man Dejan Kulusevski will likely shift to a more natural right-sided role having started more centrally alongside Alexander Isak last time out, while Celtic defender Carl Starfelt may be primed for a starting berth. Other Swedes that could get a starting role are Emil Forsberg, Victor Lindelof, Mattias Svanberg, and Ludwig Augustinsson.
Why Azerbaijan Can Beat Sweden
Azerbaijan is ranked 121 in the current FIFA rankings, trailing Guinea-Bissau, Guatemala, and Libya while getting ahead of Niger, Faroe Islands, and Malawi. Azerbaijan has never qualified for a competitive tournament as an independent nation, but they hope to reach next summer’s competition in Germany despite suffering a major blow at the hands of Austria on Friday.
Michael Gregoritsch’s strike just before the half-hour mark was sandwiched by a brace from Marcel Sabitzer, with the two nations exchanging blows during the latter stages through Emin Mahmudov and Christoph Baumgartner.
Giovanni De Biasi had traveled to Linz with plenty of confidence of causing an upset having put together an incredibly impressive run of five successive victories beforehand, but the extent to which they failed to compete will have caused the Italian plenty of concern. The Azerbaijanis won their friendlies with Moldova and North Macedonia last November, conceding just two goals.
With another tricky away match in Stockholm awaiting them on Monday, another defeat could spell curtains in terms of their hopes of securing an automatic qualification spot, as unlikely as that target may have seemed to outsiders in any case. Azerbaijan hopes to take inspiration from their Nations League campaign, where they finished second in League C Group 3. Kazakhstan got the better of them by three points, but the Azeris went ahead of Slovakia and Belarus.
Azerbaijan lacks the squad depth compared to countries such as their forthcoming opponents, with De Biasi unlikely to make many changes despite his side’s disappointing defeat to Austria. However, Aleksey Isayev could be called upon to provide more creativity from midfield, with captain Emin Mahmudov potentially dropping into a deeper role in the engine room despite scoring his 10th international goal during the 4-1 defeat.
Ramel Sheydayev is still present for the team and has nine goals in 53 caps. Namik Alaskarov, Eddy Israfilov, Richard Almeida, and Anton Krivotsyuk hope that their veteran leadership can push the team to hunt for goals.
Final Sweden-Azerbaijan Prediction & Pick
The Swedes will definitely need to bounce back in this game. Azerbaijan would be happy to gain a point in this match, but they lack the talent in the final third of the pitch. The hosts will beat the visitors in a dominant fashion.
Final Sweden-Azerbaijan Prediction & Pick: Sweden (-700), Over 2.5 goals (-172)
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