Our football match prediction:
Friends Arena in Solna will host Saturday’s football game between Sweden and Belarus. The Swedes aim to bounce back from a 2-1 loss to France in their last qualifier and they are definitely capable of beating the Belarusians at home ground. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is no longer part of the Swedish national team, but the likes of Forsberg, Guidetti and Toivonen are likely to make life difficult for the opposition back line. The Nordic side are level on points with second-placed Netherlands and, no doubt, Saturday’s clash is of big importance for the hosts. Igor Kriushenko’s men, on the other hand, suffered a 1-0 loss to Bulgaria in their last group game and it has to be noted that they have yet to record a win in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Belarus obviously struggle in front of goal and we predict that they are going to return home empty-handed.
Highlighted Player (Egor Filipenko):
Egor Filipenko is a Maccabi Tel Aviv defender who was born in Minsk, Belarus on 10 April, 1988. He began his senior career at BATE Borisov, but his main goal was to join Russian Premier League. His wish came true in 2008 as he signed a contract with Russian giants Spartak Moscow. After playing 16 league games for the capital club, he returned to BATE Borisov in 2011 on loan and he eventually signed a permanent deal with the Belarusian outfit. On 5 January, 2015 Filipenko joined la Liga side Malaga on a two-and-a-half-year deal, but he made no more than eight league appearances with los Boquerones. In the summer of 2016 the Belarusian footballer moved to Israel, signing a contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv. Speaking of his international career, Egor Filipenko made his Belarus debut on 12 September, 2007, coming as a substitute in a 1-0 loss to Slovenia in the Euro 2008 qualifier. His contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv expires on 30 June, 2018.
Highlighted Team (Sweden):
Sweden are the most successful Nordic side on international stage having been present at major competitions since 1934. Blagult missed out on the 1952 World Cup trophy on home soil as they were beaten by star-studded Brazil side, while they finished in third place at the 1950 and 1994 tournaments, and finishing fourth on their second appearance in 1938. As far as their European Championship record is concerned, Sweden also achieved their best result in front of home fans, reaching the last four in 1992, and they have since reached the quarter-finals at Euro 1994 in Portugal. Anders Svensson and Thomas Ravelli are team’s most capped players with over 140 appearances each, but it is strikers Henrik Larsson and Zlatan Ibrahimovic that will go down as the most famous Swedish footballers in history. The later also leads the goalscoring charts with over 60 strikes for the national team and he is widely regarded as one of the most colourful characters, not only in Scandinavia, but in world football.