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Euro 2024 Qualifiers Betting Pick & Prediction: Belgium vs. Sweden

March 23, 2023

Sweden take on Belgium in their Euro 2024 qualifying opener at the Friends Arena on Friday, 24 March. 

Having won all of the last three matches against Sweden, Belgium are favorites to extend their winning streak, with the home side not beating their opponents since October 1961. 

Their most recent meeting was at Euro 2016, when Radja Nainggolan's late winner sealed a 1-0 win for Belgium in a game where Sweden needed to win. 

Sweden Betting Preview (+242 at BetOnline)

Sweden commences their Euro 2024 qualification campaign when they host Belgium at the Friends Arena on Friday evening. Since making their debut at Euro 1992 – as the host nation – Sweden have missed only Euro 1996.

Janne Andersson's side had to endure a disappointing UEFA Nations League campaign last year, winning just one of their six matches in League B (losing four). However, they are on a four-game winning streak in friendlies and will be keen to build on in the Euro 2024 qualifiers. 

Sweden failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup and will be desperate to put that behind them and secure qualification for the European Championship.

Sweden will take on Azerbaijan a few days after their opener against Belgium before back-to-back visits to Austria and Estonia in the coming months. If they manage to pick up nine or more points from the opening four games, Sweden could be in a fairly good position to secure one of the top two spots in Group F. 

Sweden impressed in their most recent friendlies, picking up four consecutive wins, including back-to-back victories against Mexico and Algeria in November.

Ageless Zlatan Ibrahimovic was included in the squad and will likely be available from the bench for Janne Andersson as Newcastle's Alexander Isak, who scored three goals in his last two Premier League games, is set to lead the line.

Emil Holm (illness) and Joel Andersson (injury) both withdrew from the initial squad so Janne Andersson could be forced to name Edvin Kurtulus at right-back. Meanwhile, center-back Isak Hien is a doubt so Celtic's Carl Starfelt is on standby. 

Belgium Betting Preview (+120 at BetOnline)

The Red Devils kick off their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign in March against Sweden and the Belgians are set to face Euro 2024 hosts Germany in a friendly match a few days later. 

Belgium will be looking to bounce back following the World Cup fiasco as the Red Devils were one of the tournament disappointments in Qatar. They failed to get past the group stage and Roberto Martinez resigned right after the last game against Croatia.

Yet, we must also bear in mind that the two nations that finished above them in Group F (Croatia and Morocco) both reached the semi-finals so we cannot underestimate the fact, though Belgium looked poor anyway. 

Domenico Tedesco's side will kick-off their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with matches against Sweden and Austria, with a friendly match against Germany sandwiched between them. 

It remains to be seen whether Tedesco will stick with his favorite 3-4-1-2 formation or he'll opt for a different system against the Swedes. Belgium trained for the first time on Tuesday under new coach Domenico Tedesco, as the German named Kevin De Bruyne as the team's new captain.

One player Tedesco will have to do without, however, is defender Toby Alderweireld, who retired from international football after the World Cup. Thus, Leicester City's Wout Faes could slot into the center of defense alongside veteran Jan Vertonghen.

Furthermore, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and former captain Eden Hazard have also retired from international football, while Jérémy Doku misses out through a muscle injury. 

The Rennes winger returned to his club for treatment and has been replaced by uncapped teenager Johan Bakayoko, who plays for Eredivisie giants PSV Eindhoven. 

Elsewhere, Youri Tielemans has been injured while fellow midfielders Axel Witsel, Leander Dendoncker and Hans Vanaken were all left out of the Belgium squad. As a result, Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia looks set to make his Belgium debut here.

Possible Starting Lineups of Sweden and Belgium

Sweden: Robin Olsen – Edvin Kurtulus, Isak Hien, Victor Lindelöf, Ludwig Augustinsson – Jesper Karlström, Kristoffer Olsson, Viktor Claesson, Emil Forsberg – Dejan Kulusevski, Alexander Isak. (4-4-2) 

Belgium: Thibaut Courtois – Thomas Meunier, Wout Faes, Jan Vertonghen, Timothy Castagne – Amadou Onana, Roméo Lavia, Kevin De Bruyne – Leandro Trossard, Romelu Lukaku, Yannick Carrasco. (4-3-3) 

Spooky Express Betting Prediction 

Whereas Belgium will be keen to get off to a flying start under new boss Domenico Tedesco, Sweden stick with Janne Andersson despite his failure to qualify the country to the World Cup in Qatar. 

Sweden have been doing quite well in their home matches over the past years. They are unbeaten in their last 11 home UEFA World Cup qualifiers, winning 10 in a row, including victories against European powerhouses like France, Italy and Spain. 

All in all, their last home defeat in a qualifying match was in September 2015, when the Swedes suffered a 4-1 loss to Austria. 

Belgium, on the other hand, have one of the most talented squads in European football but it's yet to be seen how they will perform under Domenico Tedesco. One thing is sure – Belgium will need a favorable outcome and positive results, rather than spectacular performances, at the very beginning of Tedesco's tenure. 

Spooky Express Free Play: Both teams to score – Yes -115 at BetOnline for 6/10 Units