For our Sweden vs Azerbaijan Prediction, we are predicting a 3-0 home win. @5/1
Qualification for the 2026 European Championships is underway during this international break, with several nations looking to establish the best start possible. The second game of Group F sees Sweden as the home favourites against Azerbaijan. The group will be tightly contested as it contains the likes of Austria and Belgium in the race for qualification.
The Major story heading into this game is the return of Sweden's footballing icon Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Ibrahimovic, 41, is still plying his trade in Serie A with Champions League Quarter-finalists AC Milan. The Swedish International has had a historic career, and against Udinese, he once again proved his worth. Ibrahimovic became the oldest scorer in Serie A history in AC Milan's 3-1 defeat.
The home side will be eager to start their qualification process on the right note as they look to qualify for their seventh European Championship. Sweden's best showing came when they hosted the tournament in 1992. Pitted in a group with England, France and eventual winners Denmark, the hosts finished semi-finalists with great performances from Tomas Brolin.
Ibrahimovic played a vital part in their qualification for the tournament in 2016. The talismanic striker scored ten goals in 11 qualifying games. Unfortunately for Sweden, they faltered as they failed to reach the knockout stages. Their only goal came through an own goal from Ciaran Clark for the Republic of Ireland.
Sweden would want to utilise Ibrahimovic's experience alongside the youthful striker Alexander Isak, who heads into the international break on the back of some good recent form. Isak was Newcastle United's record signing and has six goals in ten Premier League games so far this season.
Sweden heads into this game following two successive victories over Finland and Iceland. However, both of these fixtures were friendlies. An improvement will have to be made from their most recent competitive game. The home side drew against Slovenia following a 4-1 defeat against Serbia in the UEFA Nations League.
Sweden and Azerbaijan have only played each other twice. The hosts have the superior record, having won both games, scoring four and conceding none.
As for the away side Azerbaijan, they have been involved in every qualification campaign since Euro 1996, failing to qualify for a major tournament. In recent years, the country has received exposure to football, having seen its signature stadium be the host of footballing events.
Azerbaijan is the team in better form heading into this game. The away side has won their last five games, including three wins to end their Nations League campaign as they finished second in their group.
The majority of the squad is playing in the Azerbaijan Premier League, but one player who is plying his trade away in Europe is forward Mahir Emreli. Emreli, 25, plays at Turkish outfit Konyaspor and has three goals in ten games this season.
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