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Sweden vs. Slovakia Predictions: Sweden HT/FT at +200

Can Seb Larsson score at good odds in this game?
Can Seb Larsson score at good odds in this game?
By Neil Monnery

Neil Monnery is expecting a more expansive performance from Sweden against Slovakia after a very defensive display against Spain earlier this week...

Location: St. Petersburg, Russia.

Date: Friday, June 18.

Kick Off Time: 9AM ET

TV: ESPN

When you play a game and only record 14% possession, complete just 54% of your 162 attempted passes and come away with a point, you’ll probably feel a bit lucky. That though should not be the case for Sweden in their opening game draw with Spain.

Watching the game, you never felt like the Spanish were going to break through a couple of late chances. Sweden looked in control defensively and even created the two best chances of the game. Marcus Berg really should have scored when set up by teammate Alexander Isak but fluffed his lines with the goal gaping.

It comes as no surprise when researching this preview that Isak is being linked to Liverpool and Arsenal in the European newspapers. The 21 year-old is currently playing in Spain for Real Sociedad and can potentially put himself in the frame for a big transfer this summer.

Slovakia won their opening game with Poland to put themselves in a great chance of qualifying for the knockout stages. That 2-1 win may well have been a bit of a surprise but it showed they aren’t going to be any sort of pushovers at this tournament.

The skill that Robert Mak showed when creating the first goal was world-class. He took out the polish defenders like they weren’t there. The second was also a fine finish from a corner. Poland were down to ten men at that point and had they not seen Grzegorz Krychowiak sent off for an extremely harsh second yellow card then it is highly plausible that they go on to lose that game. So whilst we should applaud them for getting the vital three points, we should temper our expectations going forward.

The best price I can find for Sweden to win on the Moneyline is -117 with William Hill in NJ. I think that is a reasonable play. They are the 18th best team in the world according to the FIFA Rankings and they will come out to play in a completely different fashion against the likes of Slovakia compared to how they did against the Spanish.

Picks: Even though I like Sweden to win, I don’t like putting up negative odds so in the Half-Time/Full-Time market - Sweden are +200 with bet365 to be ahead at the half and win the game. I’ll take that.

In the anytime scorer market - why not a small play on Swedish set piece expert Seb Larsson at +650 with Unibet and SugarHouse?

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