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Sweden and England to slug out close game in Stockholm

| 14.11.2012

Roy Hodgson takes his England charges back the land where it all began for him in a managerial capacity as the Three Lions are set to face Sweden.

A price of 9/5 says he makes a happy return to the country in which he spent 12 years as a coach and, with a host of players vying for their first caps in a side that’s gone unbeaten over 90 minutes in 20 of their last 21 matches, confidence should be high.

An experimental side is likely to christen the Friends Arena in Stockholm with several players withdrawing from the initial squad as is the norm ahead of an international friendly.

Whatever team Hodgson sends out, spectators can expect the typically cautious, well-organised approach that has become synonymous with both the boss himself as well as the England team.

Each of Hodgson’s three friendlies have been decided by a single goal in England’s favour and this was the same winning margin in the six non-competitive games that preceded it.

Nine games on the spin decided by one goal makes the 4/1 that says the visitors are to claim the spoils by one goal a price worth contemplating, while Sweden to prosper by the same deficit is available at 7/2.

Four of England’s last five friendly games have been won 1-0, including a clash with Sweden at Wembley just over a year ago. A win for either side by an equivalent scoreline this time around can be backed at 7/1.

The unpredictability surrounding the line-ups and systems both managers will select makes this game very difficult to call, yet you can back under 2.5 goals with a fair amount of confidence.

At 4/6, it’s nothing to get carried away with, but it seems a strong price given the nature of Hodgson’s style of football and Sweden’s over-reliance on Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date



James Middleton