Vardar vs Malmo

The venue is Mladost Stadium in Strumica, the score is 1-1 and the degrees will be sweaty. From the first leg, Malmo tried hard but Vardar returns to Macedonia with the upper hand. The Macedonian champions will come into the game with confidence after such a positive result, and this is the biggest opportunity for FK Vardar in recent years.

One of the big mistakes is to underestimate your opponents, which seems to be the problem in Malmo. The players expressed their disappointment of the result, but at the same time also expect the same type of dominance away from home, and claiming to not be impressed by Vardar and continiously compare them to a "middle team in our league". This can be mind games, but they need to enter the games with respect, or else it will bite back. This was certainly the case in Sweden in the first leg.

Malmo are coming from a 3-3 draw versus Sirius in Allsvenskan after blowing a 3-1 lead in the last ten minutes. To concede three goals at home, is not really boosting any confidence going into the most important match this year. The defense is continuing to be the weak factor.

While Malmo created a fierce atmosphere at their stadium and started the game in a very high tempo, Vardar survived the storm. When the opportunities appeared, the Macedonians took advantage and scored the opening goal after a low shot between the legs of a defender and post-in. Malmo turned up the tempo once more and got level at 1-1 via a free kick that was headed in. The margins were not on the Swedes side after the ball was bouncing on Vardars goal line in the 94th minute, and the home supporters were expressing their disappointment when the final whistle concluded the game. It was a huge miscalculation for Malmo who on beforehand spoke about putting the game to bed with 2 or 3 goals margin. Instead, they are heading to a very warm town of Strumica, with huge pressure on their shoulders to play on Mladost Stadium which is far from quality. The pitch is poor and the weather will be something that Malmo have never experienced before.

Let us stay on the weather factor for a bit. Malmo players are already talking about this topic more than anything else - it will be difficult to play their usual way with high pressure, high tempo and constant attacking, as they can not do this in those temperatures and humidity. The Macedonians will be more involved and create more than we saw on Swedbank Stadium last week.

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Malmo could not count on captain Markus Rosenberg (13/4) or defender Behrang Safari (11/1) (vice captain), nor the experienced center back Rasmus Bengtsson, or striker Alexander Jeremejeff (9/2) in the first leg. It was significant for them, as they were missing their most experienced players with a ton of international knowledge. Captain Markus Rosenberg is a club icon with a big Malmo heart who steps up in critical moments. It is very likely that he will play even if he is not fully fit. Malmos entire season is on stake, and therefore even Behrang Safari will likely also be playing, despite his fitness not being great. He struggles with calf cramps and is normally substituted in every match as he can not complete full 90 minutes.

Overall, the Swedes have fitness issues on some key pieces. The hot weather will not help that. For a team that already struggles to score goals, it will be the hardest challenge Malmo will face in 2017.

Vardar are 28-7-0 at home in the Macedonian league, this is combined in the last two season. Regardless if the Macedonian league is overall weak, it shows the winning culture and mentality of the team. Vardar is a very stubborn team who rarely lose on 'home soil' domestically. Surely this might not be their primary stadium for home games, but they have played on the pitch several times before and are used to the conditions. The organization owner - Sergey Samsonenko, has always visioned this scenario when he started to invest money in the club. He wants to make something successful with this club, in the same way he did with Vardars handball team - this is a huge opportunity for the whole club and country in football terms.

Vardar are facing a the Swedish champions in the best possible moment because the squad situation in Malmo is on the decline, and they are taking a desperate approach to this match. Their players are not 'clicking' at the right time compared to previous years when Malmo qualified for Champions League group stages after beating Salzburg and Celtic. The situation today is much different, despite a compitent squad - the injuries, fitness and form is pointing elsewhere.

What speaks in favor of Malmo? They are more organized, and more experienced and the fact that if they would progress versus Vardar - they will face rivals Copenhagen in the next round, which would be the biggest game in the Nordic region of all time. Only a bridge separate the two cities Malmo and Copenhagen. This is something on the players minds, undoubtely. But first, they must survive Vardar.

In warm weather on a poor pitch in Strumica, goals are difficult to ask for. Especially since one team will have to go for it more than the other. I believe Vardar are good enough to handle a Malmo who are walking on their knees, despite their desperate approach. We could see in the first leg that Vardar could hold the ball and were dangerous when going forward the few times it happened. Malmo have not kept clean sheets lately and in these tough conditions, expect Vardar to score again. That should be enough to not lose.

Bet: Vardar +0.5 Asian handicap @ 1.78 with Pinnacle
Result: 3-1 (won)
 * Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.
+83 -17


  1. moustafha says:

    Hello sweem, vardar can qualify? Can you comment about other match qualify?

  2. ultrasbets says:

    good luck with your winings Sweem you are on a hot steak lately!!!

  3. Sweem says:

    @Moustafha – this can potentially go to penalties/overtime in case of 1-1, and from there it is a coinflip. This bet is basically based on the fact that I do not think Malmo will go to Strumica and get a clean victory. That being said, Vardar can qualify in my opinion, if they play more commanding instead of protecting their away goal.

    Malmo will go forward, and this will allow Vardar to expose Malmos poor defense several times

    @Ultrasbets – Thanks, it happens. One day you are a hero (on a hot streak) and the next day you are useless and should stop posting (on bad streaks)

    #LifeofaTipster ;)

    – Sweem

  4. vasilli07 says:

    Any thoughts on the Swedish league game between Elfsborg v Hammarby today?

  5. Sweem says:

    @Vasili07 – Not studied that game in particular, but what can be said is that Elfsborg are in hot form and scores loads of goals. Gut feeling says Elfsborg wins, but don’t take my word for it. If I had a genuine reason, I would have posted as a separate pick

    – Sweem

  6. urch says:

    Sweem, good one, but unfortunately for me I have never played your game, can you please predict a game for today 17th? And please I really don’t understand Asian handicap.

  7. moustafha says:

    Thank you sweem. I bet qualify bate and sheva and sherif tiraspol rosenborg.??? I wait your comment

  8. Sweem says:

    @Urch – I say this with the softest of approach, but I don’t “recommend” games outside of the posted ones. My best advice is to always be selective, which means to never just make a bet because “I want to play today”, but rather wait for the right moment, even if that moment is tomorrow. It’s important to not rush, and for that reason I don’t want to rush any opinions or analysis of other games than Vardar vs Malmo right now, because they will be less accurate.

    @All – While I would gladly share my views on certain games, I do so by posting articles here on Betshoot. I would appreciate if this topic can be about Vardar vs Malmo, to remain on topic and not go out of topic. I think Isaiah and the admins would prefer it that way too :)

    – Sweem

  9. urch says:

    Okay sweem, Noted!

  10. Nilsinj says:

    Any reason the odds should rise on Vardar?

  11. Sweem says:

    @Nilsinj – Probably because Markus Rosenberg will play for Malmo, confirmed.

  12. quachtinh says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this game Sweem!
    Personally I think that Malmo will push forward from the get go as they need to score in this game, and it would leave a plethora of space for Vardar’s attacking players to exploit.
    Hence I will go with BTTS bet as it produces really good value.
    Good luck all!

  13. Sweem says:

    @Quachtinh – Agreed it is a good judgement, but what scared me away from that selection is: Malmo’s attack is not reliable, they lack a pure finisher. So, if Vardar keeps it to a 0-0 at halftime, the bet will be harder to come around. I like your thoughts though! This should be very interesting

    This is a game I fear is more difficult than what everyone predicts it to be after having seen the first match (Malmo being favorites). Vardar is that sleeping underdog who are better than their name suggests. Unless something strange happens (random penalty or red card) I can see the Macedonians progress, and that will be totally Malmos own fault

  14. Vault says:

    New insider information available directly from the team meeting yesterday… Malmø will have a much more focused approach today and therefore they will score an early goal and keep the score in their favor the rest of the match.
    Thank me later

    HT/FT 2/2 @3.0

  15. aniella says:

    Vault your misleadling,anyway goodluck with your pick

  16. urch says:

    Sweem, good morning! I really don’t understand your pick. Please what’s +0.5

  17. Sweem says:

    @Urch – The AH +0.5 means the same as double chance 1X (home or draw)

  18. urch says:

    Ok, thanks sweem.

  19. Franck says:

    Good work

  20. Mk says:

    I think it would end 0-0

  21. Dude says:

    Decent start of 2nd half:) Hope Skopje will keep on attacking.

  22. Tony says:

    Sweem remains the best

  23. Zemba says:

    FK Vardar Skopje 3 : 1 Malmo FF

  24. Sweem says:

    Malmö, as expected – fitness issues and not clicking in the right time. Good luck Vardar, heavily underestimated team. Glad we took advantage of it, twice! Bookies might learn their lesson

  25. Larry says:

    Your description of ah+0.5 cost my ticket today. Not used to commenting on post but I didn’t understand what that was until someone asked. Went and played Malmo win or draw and under 4.5goals. Would recommend you also help us newbies interms clarity on ur tips. You couldn’t have just posted 1X instead of that. All the same congrats though -had a very terrible experience today.

  26. George says:

    The description is 100% accurate. Read and learn the Asian handicaps before you start betting.

    Take a look here ->

  27. aron50 says:

    Larry so Sweem is guilty you are ignorant?

  28. Mk junior jr says:

    I will start from today and every preview game of sweem.
    Sweem you are the best

  29. anna siow youn says:

    Another good and precise post.well done sweem.$$$$$thanks for that

  30. George says:

    Also, the Asian handicap odds are better than 1X. That’s why they prefer Asian choice.

  31. anna siow youn says:

    I agree with you.I am a great fan of sweem

  32. tanet says:

    GUY! SWEEM u r good! Please can I get a pick for tomorrow? What do u think about international champions cup?

  33. David says:

    Great one Sweem, hope you added some units when the odds went up? I got it at 2.12 odd in the end. Should have added some more units on 0-1 live for a jackpot ;)

  34. Sweem says:

    Well played guys, happy to share.

    @george – sorry to hear about your choice bet wise, but where in my text did I ever lean towards Malmo at all? I mentioned several times that they aren’t clicking and that I didn’t think they can manage a clean win.

  35. Sweem says:

    Sorry, i meant @Larry, not George.

  36. Larry says:

    @all glad for ur points -was ignorant no doubt and am not blaming it on sweems. Congrats once more and hope to cash in next time. Thanks too @George for the piece. Will start learning the AH market too. Not too sure my local bet companies offer such market hence my naivety in that area. It’s all about sweems though -Cheers mate!

  37. David says:

    @Sweem you got any thoughts about the next league fixture from Malmo? I don’t know the away side, but +1,5 handicap away looks great value to me. Your ideas about this?

  38. Sweem says:

    @David – possibly, Malmo are in shock, and many players have lost motivation to stay in the club. Half the squad have expiring contracts and a lot will change. Maybe even before Saturday. Difficult to say how Malmo respond. BTTS has been successful when Malmo play

  39. Josh says:

    Unreal buddy

  40. Dude says:

    @Sweem, BIG karma for the overrated Malmø players who actually got their coach from last season sacked despite they won the league.

    Thx for the great pick(s).

  41. nassboi says:

    Thanks so very much for the pick.

  42. urch says:

    You are good sweem

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