There’s a crucial Group A 2018 World Cup qualifying match on the horizon this Friday, November 11th at the Stade de France just outside of Paris where France will be hosting Sweden. These are the top two teams in the group as they share first place with seven points each. Sweden is coming into the game following a 3-0 home victory over Bulgaria while France shut out Holland 1-0 on the road in their last outing. Holland sits in third place in the group with four points followed by Bulgaria in fourth place with three points, Belarus in fifth with two points and Luxembourg in the basement with just a single point.
France vs Sweden – Pinnacle Soccer Betting Line:
- Pinnacle currently lists France as the favorites to win the game at -380 with Sweden +1350 and a draw at +505
France vs Sweden – Head to Head:
- These two teams last met in November of 2014 with France winning an international friendly at home 1-0. Overall, they’ve played each other just 14 times with France winning five, losing five and drawing the other five. Sweden’s last victory came in June of 2012 when they were 2-0 winners at the Euro 2012 tournament. However, that is their one and only win in the last 13 meetings with the previous one coming in October of 1969. Sweden also has five draws in the last 13 encounters.
France – A Closer Look:
France enters the contest as the seventh-ranked nation in the world by FIFA. They’ve appeared in 14 World Cups and won it once, at home in 1998 with a 3-0 win over Brazil. They opened their qualifying campaign with 0-0 draw on the road with Belarus and then followed it up with a 4-1 home victory over Bulgaria. France fell behind after just six minutes when Mihail Aleksandrov converted a penalty kick. Kevin Gamiero leveled the score after 23 minutes and Dimitri Payet put the French ahead 2-1 just three minutes later.
Antoine Griezmann scored in the 38th minute to give France a 3-1 lead at halftime and Gamiero wrapped things up with his second goal of the game in the 59th minute. Their last game took place a month ago and resulted in a 1-0 win in Holland with Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba scoring the only goal of the match in the 30th minute. The France squad has five wins, a draw and a loss in its last seven outings.
Sweden – A Closer Look:
Sweden will kick off this match ranked number 39 on the globe by FIFA. Sweden enters the weekend with two wins, two draws and two losses in their past six contests with two straight wins. Their qualifying tournament kicked off in September with a 1-1 home draw with Holland in Solna. Marcus Berg put the home side ahead after 43 minutes, but Wesley Sneijder leveled the proceedings in the 67th minute. Sweden took all three points in their second outing with a 1-0 road win over Luxembourg. Mikael Lustig scored the only goal of the match in the 58th minute.
Sweden them made it two straight wins just a few days later when they managed to down Bulgaria 3-0 at home in Solna again. Ola Toivonen opened the scoring after 39 minutes and Oscar Hiljemark doubled the lead just before the halftime whistle blew. Sweden’s Victor Lindelof then put the game out of reach with his goal in the 58th minute.
France vs Sweden – Takeaway:
A win here by either team will be huge as it will give them at least a three-points lead in the group and place them in the driver’s seat. A loss or a draw means the nation that drops points will also have to keep an eye on the rearview mirror since Holland still remains a threat.
By Ian S. Palmer