Zlatan the man as Sweden start Euro 2016 qualifiers away to Austria
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a divisive football figure. Many admire his talent, but not his attitude.
The PSG frontman broke Sweden’s long-standing goals record, surpassing Sven Rydell with adecisive double against Estonia, including a cheeky back-heel. Odds of 4/1 with Coral say Ibrahimovic can deliver a repeat performance by bagging a brace or better in Vienna.
“That I scored with a back-heel was probably a little lucky, but it was the only way I could score there,” Ibrahimovic said. “I want so much, I want even more. Even if I’ve said there’s a couple of years left, I’m going to do the maximum in those years. Now I’ve gone past the goal record, we’ll keep going. It’s not over yet.”
The Scandinavian side’s skipper is set to rack up a century of caps when the Swedes travel to Austria and kick off Euro 2016 qualifying Group G, which looks wide open in terms of who can make the France finals. Russia will be the main challengers for top spot, but there is all to play for with two automatic spots to advance open.
Austria ran out 2-1 winners when they last hosted Sweden in competitive action last June, however, and a repeat scoreline is a 9/1 chance. The home side are also 11/8 favourites for victory. Bayern Munich left-sided star David Alaba converted a penalty in that encounter, and is 5/1 to net anytime. Marc Janko was also on target then, and is shorter at 6/4 to get a goal again here.
Ibrahimovic netted last when the Swedes, 21/10 to take three points on this trip, played the return fixture in World Cup qualifying last October. It’s 7/2 that Zlatan is the final name on the scoresheet here. Fellow ageing striker Johan Elmander also has been on target against Austria on his CV, and is 2/1 to net anytime.
Historically, this has been a low-scoring affair, so punters should consider a 2/1 price on total goals being under 1.5. Just don’t expect the match to be drawn (23/10), as just one of the eight meetings between Austria and Sweden has finished level.