Belgium - Sweden predictions and free betting tips [16/10/2023]
On Monday, 16th October, as part of the Euro-2024 qualifying tournament, the Belgium national team will face off against the Swedish side. The "Red Devils" secured their ticket to the continental championship in Germany last week, whereas the Swedish team must win and hope that Austria stumble in Azerbaijan.
Belgium: Sels; Castagne, Faes, Vertonghen, Theate; Tielemans, Mangala, Vermeeren; Lukebakio, Lukaku, Doku.
Sweden: Olsen; Wahlqvist, Lindelof, Lagerbielke, Augustinsson; Kulusevski, Ekdal, K. Olsson, Karlsson; Claesson, Gyokeres.
The match will take place in Brussels at the King Baudouin Stadium.
Eliminated during the group stages of the World Cup last December, Belgium hoped for redemption at Euro-2024. So far, the Tricolors are succeeding, being at the top of their group with four consecutive victories. The "Red Devils" sequentially defeated Estonia (0:3), Azerbaijan (0:1), Estonia again last month (5:0), and Austria in Vienna last Friday with a score of 2:3. The Belgians made their mark in the 12th minute through the efforts of Dodi Lukebakio, and in the second half, he and Lukaku removed all questions about the match's outcome. Consequently, the home team sits atop the standings with 16 points, leading Sweden, who are currently third, by 10 points. Moreover, under Domenico Tedesco's leadership, the Belgium team has won six of their seven matches, instilling hope in their supporters.
Next month, Belgium will host Azerbaijan, though this match won’t have any significant implications in tournament standings. In the "Red Devils" lineup, Courtois (Real Madrid, 102 matches) and De Bruyne (Manchester City, 26 goals in 99 matches) are still missing due to recovering from injuries at their clubs, as well as the defender Meunier (Borussia Dortmund, 62 matches) and midfield player Dendoncker (Aston Villa, 32 matches). On the other hand, Romelu Lukaku (77 goals in 110 matches) is in excellent form and will start as he is the top scorer of the qualifying tournament with 8 goals. Jeremy Doku (Manchester City, 2 goals in 16 matches) may join him, and Lois Openda (Leipzig, 2 goals in 11 matches) will strengthen the second half by substitution.
Sweden has seriously slowed down in the last couple of years. Having missed the World Cup in Qatar last autumn, the visitors are at risk of missing the next Euros, as they are in only the 3rd place in Group F, 7 points behind second-place Austria. Last year in June, the "Blaugrata" crushed New Zealand (4:1) in a friendly match, and then lost to Austria (2:0). After that, the Scandinavians easily defeated Estonia (0:5), but a few days afterwards they fell again to Austria (1:3), virtually nullifying their chances of qualification. On Thursday, the Swedes hosted the Moldovan team in a friendly match, prevailing with a score of 3:1. The head coach of the team, Janne Andersson, is under serious media scrutiny and in the event of his country failing to qualify for the continental championship for the first time since 1996, he might lose his job.
The main star of the Swedish team, Alexander Isak (Newcastle, 42 matches, 10 goals) didn't join this team due to injury. On the other hand, the goalkeeper Olsen (Aston Villa), defenders Lindelof (Man United), Gudmunsson (Lille) and Holm (Atalanta), and midfielders Klaesson (Copenhagen, 71 matches, 14 goals), Cajuste (Napoli) and Kukusevski (Tottenham) are available and are expected to play. We will most certainly see experienced Robin Quaison (Al-Ittifaq, 14 goals) and dangerous Emil Forsberg (RB Leipzig, 20 goals) in the attack. Andersson, after failing to shift away from the classic Swedish 4-4-2 formation earlier this year, is most likely to revert to it against Belgium.
In the first leg in March, the Belgians thrashed the Swedish team in Stockholm with a score of 0:3. The "devils" have consistently emerged victorious in the last four head-to-head duels.
Predictions for the Belgium - Sweden match
Sweden, having lost their star striker Isak ahead of this camp, has managed to score only once in the last three matches against the top two teams in Group F. The chances of catching up with Austria are virtually non-existent, but Belgium has already secured their place for the Euros, so no one will take needless risks. I believe the yellow-and-blues have a decent chance to earn points in Brussels; I'm betting on a 1.5 handicap for the visitors.
Sweden must win at all costs, while the home side will be dangerous on counter-attacks. A plethora of goals in this match is inevitable; my bet is that both teams will score.
Both teams will attack a lot, which means a large number of corners is unavoidable. In March, the teams earned 14 corners combined, so we confidently place a bet on more than 9.5 total corners.
Yellow Cards Prediction
I'm not expecting a lot of yellow cards here, as neither team is particularly known for their rough play (total under 4.5).
My bet is on a 1:1 exact score.