No Zlatan, No Problem: Sweden Can Take The Next Step

No Zlatan, No Problem: Sweden Can Take The Next Step article feature image

The Odds

  • To win the World Cup: +15000
  • To win Group F: +645
  • To advance to Round of 16: +120

Bet To Watch

Sweden to advance to Round of 16 +120

There has been a big cloud over the Swedish national team for well over a decade. That cloud has been named Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and that cloud wanted to come out and play one last time, but luckily for Sweden they decided to clear the skies heading into this tournament. Zlatan is one of the best players of all time, but he needs the game to revolve around him.

With Zlatan out of the picture, Sweden were able to weave their way through arguably the toughest path in UEFA qualification. Sweden finished behind France but ahead of the Netherlands in qualifying and shocked the world with an upset of Italy in the playoffs to reach Russia.

The Swedes run a 4-4-2 formation with Marcus Berg and Ola Toivonen up front. Those two played very well off one another in qualifying, and even though they aren’t household names, they are effective. The star man for Sweden is Emil Forsberg. He is the orchestrator in the midfield for the Blagult and would fancy a big tournament since he’s on the cusp of a big-money move this summer.

Sweden will have a steep hill to climb in the group stage, needing to navigate a field that features Germany, Mexico and South Korea. The good news is that a draw as tough as the Swedes have led to them being undervalued in the market. And the fact that the tournament is being played on European soil is an added benefit for the Swedish side.

I like Sweden to come out of the group at +120 on the back of a strong performance from a team finally ready to take the next step.

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