Two-time defending champions Sweden meet Russia on Tuesday evening at the Ondreja Nepelu Arena in Bratislava in their final Group B game at the IIHF World Championship 2019.
Both teams have already qualified for the quarter-final stage of the tournament, so this game will be to decide finishing places in the group and the subsequent draw for the next stage.
Sweden made a slow start to the championship with a 5-2 loss to the Czech Republic, but they’ve won all five games since and scored at least four goals in each game. As things stand they are the top goalscorers in the tournament with 37 goals in six games. They have the best SG% Shot Percentage in the tournament at 15.81.
For their part, Russia are the only team in the competition with a perfect 100% record, having won all six games to date. Their great strength has been defensively, where they have conceded just three goals and have had four shutouts in six games. Russia’s SG% Shot Percentage is 14.57 (3rd overall).
Sweden vs Russia Betting Lines & Pick
The teams also met in the final game of the group stage in Denmark at the IIHF World Championship 2018, with Sweden running out 3-1 winners on their way to winning the competition. Since then they have met on four occasions on the Euro Hockey Tour, with two wins apiece.
Sweden’s William Nylander, who had two assists in the 5-4 win over Latvia in their last game, leads the tournament with 15 points (4 goals + 11 assists). In second place is Russia’s Nikita Kucherov (the 2019 NHL scoring champion with 128 points for the Tampa Bay Lightning) with 14 points (6 goals + 8 assists).
If the Russians beat Sweden and make it seven wins from seven in the group stage it will be seen as a good omen. Under the current format they’ve done that twice previously (2012, 2014) and then gone on to win gold on both occasions.
In terms of betting predictions, the winners of this game will stay in Bratislava and theoretically have an easier draw in the last eight. Russia are the favourites for this game on the Money Line at -147 with Betway, with Sweden at odds of +115 with bet365. This is a real marquee roster on duty for the Russians, so they are the tips to win this game.