Sweden vs Germany

October 14, 2013
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Having secured their place in the 2014 World Cup play-offs, Sweden are looking to further improve the atmosphere in the team with what would be their fifth qualifying win on the bounce. Meanwhile, Germany have won every single qualifier following the 4-4 draw with the Scandinavians in October 2012, and they will want to get revenge on their opponents for the only setback in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

Sweden shows character

With the team not really impressing at the Euro 2012 and crashing out in group stage, Erik Hamren’s position as head coach was in danger, but the national team chiefs opted to stick to the experienced manager and that proved to be an excellent decision. After winning their first two 2014 World Cup qualifiers, Sweden were trailing four goals one hour into the away match against Germany, but they then produced one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the game to earn a 4-4 draw. Erik Hamren’s side, however, came into a difficult position having picked up just one point from matches against Ireland and Austria, but they then recorded four straight victories to secure their place in the play-offs. Sweden came from a goal down against Austria on Friday to record an invaluable victory and they will be very motivated to keep the rich vein of form and prove they have what it takes to match even world’s strongest sides. No doubt star forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be sorely missed, but the hosts have quite a few players capable of making life difficult for Germany defence.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is suspended after picking up the second yellow card of the campaign, but there are no other worries for Erik Hamren.

Three 3-0 wins in a row

Germany played some great football at the Euro 2012, but eventually failed to justify the favourites’ tag having been eliminated by Italy in the semi-finals. As expected, the team recovered well from the disappointing exit and their place at the 2014 World Cup never came into question. Die Mannschaft have been absolutely brilliant in the current qualifying campaign, winning eight of nine games and scoring 31 goals, while keeping five clean sheets in the process. With so many world-class footballers up front, it is hardly surprising they have been scoring goals for fun, with neither Mario Gomez nor Miroslav Klose being sorely missed. While scoring exactly three goals in every one of last five fixtures, Germany kept three clean sheets in a row, but the good run will be put to a serious test at Friends Arena in Solna even with Zlatan Ibrahimovic missing out. Joachim Low has hinted he will make some changes to the starting line-up, which means the back line might not be as impressive as they have been of late. On the other hand, chances are the attack will be in fine working order regardless of the starting line-up.

Sami Khedira misses out through suspension, while Max Kruse, Mario Gotze and Sidney Sam are pushing for starting places.


With Sweden and Germany having secured play-off berth and automatic qualification respectively, chances are we will see a very open game at Friends Arena in Solna. The visitors are the favourites here given the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and they should be able to get revenge for the 4-4 draw in Berlin.

Top pick: Over 2.5 goals   1.65 (13/20) @ BetVictor

Alternative pick 1: Away win   1.73 (8/11) @ Sportingbet

Alternative pick 2: Over 3.5 goals   2.62 (13/8) @ William Hill

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