Russia vs Sweden
Competition: UEFA Nations League
Date: 11 October 2018
Kick-off: 21:45 CET
Russia’s performances and results last month were an… answer to everyone (including me) who didn’t expect them to stay at the high level they exhibited at home in June, in the World Cup finals. They beat Turkey (in Trabzon!) 1-2 on their Nations League debut, and destroyed (5-1!) Czechia at home a few days later in a friendly game. Versus Turkey, they took the lead twice, thanks to Denis Cheryshev and Artem Dzyuba goals, with the second one coming minutes into the second half. Russia finished the game on much smaller ball possession than Turkey (61-39%), but marginally more attempts. All in all, they showed that their awesome results in the World Cup finals were no… accident. With an away win in the group already under their belt, they are top favorites to finish first.
Sweden must still be trying to figure out what… hit them last month, in that 2-3 defeat at home to Turkey. Minutes into the second half, they were 2-0 up, comfortably, deservedly. Right after that, Turkey shortened the gap, and that’s when things started changing. Sweden finished the game on less than 40% ball possession(!), at home(!), so what happened in the last minutes was sort of… not exactly “natural”, but probably “expected”, as Sweden had just retreated too-too much. Turkey equalized in the 88th minute, and scored the winner in the second minute of added time, teaching(!) Sweden a valuable lesson. A few days earlier, the Swedes had lost 2-0 in Austria, in a friendly game, practically with their hands down.
Previous five matches:
Russia vs Czech Republic 5-1
Turkey vs Russia 1-2
Russia vs Croatia 2-2
Spain vs Russia 1-1
Uruguay vs Russia 3-0
Sweden vs Turkey 2-3
Austria vs Sweden 2-0
Sweden vs England 0-2
Sweden vs Switzerland 1-0
Mexico vs Sweden 0-3
Russia’s next game is on Sunday, again at home, versus Turkey (Nations League). On Tuesday, Sweden will be hosting Slovakia (friendly).
Russia vs Sweden: Head to head Stats
Russia have hosted Sweden three times before; the two teams have one win each, and one game has ended in a draw. Total goals, 3-5 for the Swedes.
Russia vs Sweden: Prediction
Logic says that Russia will win the game, having looked the way they looked last month. They are hosting a team that disappointed in both their matches in September, so, I repeat, logic says the hosts should win (in Kaliningrad, very close to Sweden). Even so, I prefer to bet on goals.
Russia vs Sweden: Betting Tips
“Both teams to score”, pays exactly the same, 2.00, as Russia’s victory. I prefer the former, expecting the Swedes to score. For a bit more than that, I would risk with “over 2.5 goals”, at 2.20.