I know what you’ll be thinking when you settle down to watch Sweden v Iceland in your local Nordic sports bar on Wednesday night: “Why have FIFA erected a giant mirror between the dugouts?”
But that’s no mirror; it’s just the strikingly similar appearance of Sweden’s Erik Hamren and Iceland’s Lars Lagerback.
What makes things even more confusing is that Lagerback was Sweden’s coach until he resigned in the wake of their unsuccessful qualification campaign for the 2010 World Cup.
So considering the intelligence of the average footballer, don’t be surprised to see Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his cohorts wheeling away to celebrate with their former coach before someone realises (probably Rasmus Elm, he seems a sensible chap) that they’ve got the wrong fella.
And the likelihood is that Sweden will be doing plenty of wheeling away in celebration in Ullevi, as suggested by their status as strong 13/50 favourites in bwin’s 3Way football betting market, with the draw at 17/4 and Iceland way out at 21/2.
Considering the intelligence of the average footballer, don’t be surprised to see Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his cohorts wheeling away to celebrate with their former coach before someone realises that they’ve got the wrong fella.
Lagerback’s men have conceded a sizeable 15 goals in the five games they’ve played against Sweden and despite their plucky effort against France last weekend – taking a 2-0 lead before eventually succumbing to a 3-2 defeat – they’ve only won once in their last 14 games.
In light of this, odds of 3/5 on there being over 2.5 goals in the game look tempting, but even better is the 4/5 offered for Sweden to win a match featuring three or more goals.
Punters registering with bwin can claim a free £25 bet and using it on this latter selection will return £45 if successful.
After all, Iceland are a side very much in transition. In fact, the new coach named two entirely different 18-man squads for the recent friendlies against Japan and Montenegro just to familiarise himself with the players at his disposal.
Rather inevitably, they lost both of these games, but judging by his success in charge of both Sweden and Nigeria, Lagerback will almost certainly improve Iceland as a national side and make them far harder to beat.
But this is unlikely to happen on Wednesday night, however, when they face a Swedish side that will be eager to get their summer off to a winning start.
Recommended bet: Sweden to win a game of over 2.5 goals @ 4/5
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