Sweden v Slovakia betting tips: Minnows look to book last-16 spot
Slovakia were 12/1 underdogs to win Group E but they caused the biggest shock of the group stage by defeating 10-man Poland and are now 1/4 to qualify for the last 16, the same price as Friday’s opponents Sweden.
The Scandinavians eked out a goalless draw against Spain on Monday night despite just 15% possession, although they spurned a couple of good chances to win the game in Seville.
Both teams have set their sights on making it to the knockout phase so let’s look at some of the markets and odds in our Sweden v Slovakia betting tips.
Sweden have won three and drawn two of their five meetings with Slovakia but will have to show more ambition than they did against Spain to justify their status as 4/5 favourites.
Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar gave the Slovaks a 2-1 win in their opening group game soon after Poland midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak was sent off and his side are 4/1 to make it back-to-back victories.
Sweden smashed Slovakia 6-0 four and a half years ago and they drew 1-1 in another international friendly in 2018 but this is the oldest squad at Euro 2020 and it remains to be seen whether they have the energy to win on Friday.
The Swedes had won five successive matches in the build-up to the European Championship, four of which produced three or fewer match goals and a win by that method is available at 6/5 while a win to nil is 8/5.
Interestingly, Sweden were ahead at the break in all five wins and they are 19/10 to be leading at half-time and full-time and 12/5 to be in front after 30 minutes, which was the case in four of those matches.
The defensive Swedes have conceded just once in their last six games, so we go evens on them keeping a clean sheet.
Sweden coach Janne Andersson stuck with his preferred 4-4-2 formation against Spain despite his players barely getting a touch of the ball against a youthful team in the baking heat of Andalucia.
Hell would have to freeze over before Andersson deserted that formation in which Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak impressed up front, creating Sweden’s best chance for Marcus Berg who skied the ball high and wide from a few yards.
Slovakia centre-back Skriniar won the man-of-the-match award for his winner and for keeping Robert Lewandowski quiet all afternoon in a 4-2-3-1 system, with Marek Hamsik playing in the number 10 role behind Ondrej Duda.
Despite Berg fluffing his lines, the Krasnodar forward scored against Armenia and Estonia in the build-up to the tournament, while Seb Larsson netted a couple of penalties and the former Birmingham and Sunderland midfielder is available at 15/2 to bag the first goal or 7/2 in the anytime market.
Where: St Petersburg Stadium
When: 14:00, Friday 18th June
How to watch: BBC 1
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication