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Portugal v Sweden World Cup play-off betting preview

Posted on 15/11/2013 in International

The keenly-contested Premier League may be on hold for a week, but the usual international interlull this is not.

Yes, Roy Hodgson may be tinkering around with his second-string squad against Chile and in Ireland a new era of bad-cop-even-badder-cop management is getting underway, but the real excitement tonight (November 15th) will take place in the Estadio Da Luz.

Portugal take on Sweden in the first of a two-legged play-off with only the victors heading to Brazil to compete at World Cup 2014. This means that only one of either Sepp Blatter's favourite metrosexual Cristiano Ronaldo or 'I am Zlatan' Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be at the finals.

Both players prepared for the huge match with the small matter of a hat-trick apiece this past week.

Although 20 other players will be representing their countries, it is hard to look beyond these two as Ronaldo has scored 63 times in 2013, while Ibrahimovic bagged 30 to help his side to a first French title in almost 20 years and has started the Champions League season in fine style.

So, expect goals. 

On the total goals market, a tally of 2-3 is priced at 9/10, while 4-5 looks good at 3/1.

If you expect the attacking talents on display to dominate, then you may fancy the teams to score in each half. Portugal notching in both periods has odds of 3/2, while a Zlatan-inspired Swedish team scoring in each half is priced at 17/4.

In terms of the final score, the last time these two nations met maybe Cristiano and Zlatan had agreed a ceasefire, as during World Cup qualifying for the 2010 tournament, neither team managed a goal in two matches.

A repeat scoreline of 0-0 at the end of this first leg is priced at 9/1