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Sweden v England: Inexperienced Three Lions side to deny hosts

| 14.11.2012

Sweden will entertain England in a game that marks the opening of the Friends Arena and, due to the experimental nature of the Three Lions’ line-up, they will be looking to christen their new national stadium in winning style.

Roy Hodgson will hand starts to three debutants, which has contributed to their drifting to 2/1 from 9/5, while the Swedes have come into 8/11 and there is no movement on the draw at 9/4.

Steven Caulker will start at centre-half and there are spots in midfield for Merseyside representatives Leon Osman and Raheem Sterling, while Steven Gerrard will captain the side as he wins his 100th cap.

The 14 years between Osman and Sterling represents the largest age gap between first-cap-winners since the Second World War and they both offer value in the goalscoring markets.

Everton stalwart Osman is a 5/1 shot to mark the highlight of his career to date with a goal at any time, while prodigious Liverpool talent Sterling is available at 10/3 to achieve the same feat.

Gerrard is fancied to mark his century with a goal, making him 2/1 third-favourite to notch at any point. He has failed to score in his last 22 games in an England shirt, however, so the sentimental bettors among us must be prepared to lose some money on this punt.

Interestingly, Ladbrokes have a special market up to commemorate the England skipper’s achievement that pays 66/1 for him net two goals or more. The unlikelihood of this coming is exemplified in the price, yet it’s surely worth a quid at these odds.

England arrive in Stockholm unbeaten over 90 minutes in 20 of their last 21 games and are sure to provide stern opposition, regardless of team selection. This makes backing an England win or draw at 5/6 in the Sweden no bet market one of the safest available on this game.

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



James Middleton