Romania and Sweden will meet in their UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier this week with second place in the group being on the line.
Romania have always had superstars littered throughout the core of their squad, but they’ve never possessed a cohesive team capable of going deep into a big tournament. Through building up their youth system and getting players into the rhythm of competing as a tighter unit, it really does feel like they’re on the verge of finally becoming a force in the European game. The next step towards achieving that goal, as you can imagine, is securing qualification for next year’s tournament.
The Romanians certainly haven’t had their way with every single game in their last six, but they have managed to pick up important wins against Faroe Islands and Malta twice. They drew against Norway twice in two entertaining bouts, with their only loss being a close 2-1 defeat at the hands of Spain.
The Swedes did magnificently well to progress into the quarter-finals of the World Cup last year, and after doing so with a squad that wasn’t perceived to be all that great, you’d have to imagine they’ll have high hopes for what the future holds. Defensively speaking they’ve always been capable of providing a united front, but now, they appear to be putting the pieces in place that will allow them to create a strong goalscoring presence in a post-Zlatan Ibrahimovic world.
Sweden’s three wins within their last six, ironically enough, have also been against Malta twice and the Faroe Islands. They drew with a tricky Norway side and managed to edge out a point against the Spanish, with their only defeat being the reverse fixture against Spain where the lost 3-0.
There’s going to be a tense atmosphere stemming from this one, as you’d expect at such a late stage of the campaign. The quality of the football itself probably isn’t going to be too much to write home about, but that’s not the point. The point is that these two nations will be putting it all on the line in the name of making their way into the top two, and therefore, into UEFA Euro 2020. We’re going to be backing Sweden to get the job done, likely after a series of unforced errors on behalf of the Romanians.
Goals and entertainment have been in high supply from both teams during this campaign, which hasn’t always been the case in past years. Therefore, we’re going for the over 2.5 goals wager in this one, and while there’s no guarantee that both nations will progress into the tournament next year, we’ve got a feeling that you’ll be seeing a lot more of both on the big stage.
Verdict: Back the away win at odds of 8/5 and the over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 23/20. (All odds are taken from bet365).