It’s coming down to the wire for Sweden in Group E of the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign and they control their own destiny. If they’re able to beat Finland on Oct. 7th they’ll guarantee themselves at least second place in the group and a playoff qualifying spot. The game takes place at Helsinki’s Olympic Stadium in Finland.
Sweden heads into this match with some momentum and confidence considering they whitewashed Finland 5-0 at home in Stockholm back in June in their previous qualifying match. They’ve also won four and lost one in their last five games while Finland has won three and lost two.
Sweden has a lot to play for as there’s also a very slim possibility that they could win the group. However, for this to happen, leaders Holland would have to lose at home Moldova in their contest on Oct. 7th. If Moldova happens to beat them it sets up a showdown between Sweden and Holland in Sweden on Oct. 11th for all the marbles.
Holland tops the group right now with 24 points from eight wins while Sweden and Hungary are tied for second spot with six wins and two losses each for 18 points. Sweden has the edge in goal differential though with a plus 18 mark compared to Hungary’s plus eight. A win by Sweden over Finland will knock Hungary out of contention.
If Sweden slips up in Finland we could see Hungary finish in second place as they play Finland in their last qualifying game on Oct. 11th while Sweden would have their hands full with Holland at home. At the moment, Finland is in fourth place in Group E with three victories and five defeats for a total of nine points. This leaves several possibilities for the final table in the group.
Finland has one of the hottest scorers in Euro 2012 qualifying in Mikael Forssell as he has seven goals. Sweden has a hot one of their own as Zlatan Ibrahimovi? scored a hat trick in the 5-0 rout of Finland in June. He didn’t enter the game until the 25th minute when he came on as a substitute.
Finland will be without the suspended Përparim Hetemaj for the game. Defender Petri Pasanen and Midfielder Alexei Eremenko are also out of the squad due to injuries.
This is Sweden’s big chance to sew up at least a playoff spot for next year’s championships. If they lose this game or even tie it they could be in serious trouble when they play Holland next Tuesday. Look for them to make the most of the opportunity in front of them. They should take this game over Finland by a couple of goals.
Sportsbook 5dimes.com has a Sweden win listed at -160 with a Finland victory at +516. The odds of a draw are listed at +296. 5Dimes.com is our top rated soccer betting site because they offer the most favourable odds on the majority of games and accept players from around the world.
Visit 5Dimes.com to see up to date odds and to bet on the Finland vs Sweden Euro 2012 qualifying game.