A tense encounter is to be expected between these two Scandinavian neighbours. Sweden find themselves in this game after failing to close the gap with Russia, having to accept third-place instead of second in group G. Meanwhile, Denmark lost 1-0 to Portugal in their final qualifier, allowing for Albania to surprisingly finish second in Group I.
At 34 years old, Zlatan Ibrahimovi? is still the focal point of this team. Without him, it is unlikely that Sweden would have made it into this knockout game. The PSG striker proved instrumental in scoring eight of his team’s 15 goals. Having a fit Ibrahimovi? will give Sweden a much better chance of getting off to a positive start versus Denmark.
Sweden’s team is one lacking in star power, but there is veteran quality in areas of the team. First of all, you have the solid Andreas Isaksson in goal, while Kim Källström provides creativity in midfield. The 33-year-old Källström has managed to score 16 goals in 123 international appearances. That goal-return is second-best in the team.
Comparatively, Denmark do not have a striker who even comes close to Ibrahimovi?’s standard. By comparison, Nicklas Bendtner scored only two of his side’s eight goals in Euro 2016 qualifying. The former Arsenal man is far behind of Ibrahimovi? when it comes to being a goal-threat.
While Denmark’s defence played well to concede only five goals in eight games, their eight goal attacking effort is extremely poor. Outside of Bendtner, it has taken the combined effort of three strikers just to score three goals.
Attacking-midfielder Christian Eriksen has been in excellent league form for Tottenham and has to tap into that quality if Denmark are to avoid a disappointing result in the first leg. Back in defence, meanwhile, it will be up to Daniel Agger to break up any attacks.
Tip one: Sweden @ 2.25 with ladbrokes
Tip two: Sweden and under 2.5 goals @ 4.00 with ladbrokes
Sweden will struggle to break down a Denmark defence that was extremely effective in their previous qualifiers, but a moment of quality from Ibrahimovi? will be enough to give the Swedes an advantage for the second leg.