By Sean Goff
Group D betting preview: Sweden V England, Kiev, Friday 7.45pm (ITV1 and RTE2)
If familiarity breeds contempt then Roy Hodgson might be the most hated man in Sweden (as well as England) by the time this game ends. Hodgson won seven title with Swedish club Halmstad at the start of his career and will be trying to send the Swedes back to Swedenland sharpish tonight.
Sweden are England’s bogey team. They have never beaten them in a competitive game. Granted, they beat them 1-0 last November under Fabio Capello’s tutelage but are still 0 from 7 in European Championship and World Cup games, including qualifiers, drawing five and losing twice. Sweden really need to win but Hodgson’s men have been boosted by the opening draw with France. And they can get the draw this evening at 9/4.
A correct score stab in the dark
Sweden’s 2-1 loss to the Ukraine in the opening game has them on the back foot while England can afford to adopt a slightly cautious approach early doors. The Swedes need at least a point to stay in the competition but with their record against the Three Lions – a draw seems a fair punt. 1-1 pays 11/2 but if both sides go for the jugualr and all it gets a bit frenetic – a score draw will return 10/3 for your hard-earned.
A goalscorer bet to look for
This could come down to the front men’s form on the night. One is a lanky, skilful, misundersttod, stiker who can lead from the front. The other is Andy Carroll who is likely to start. Zlatan Ibrahimovic didn’t get the result his performance merited against the Ukraine but he can get the first here at 7/1 if Sweden take the game to England. He’s worth a saver too at 5/2 in the anytime scorer market if Sweden are fighting for their Euro 2012 lives.
Something a bit random
If England are trailing or need other “options” which is manager-speak for hoofing it, Andy Carroll will most likely be bombarded with angled crosses to direct a) towards the goal or b) towards a team-mate who might score. Carroll can be the hero (if it pays off) or villlain (scapegoat). 5/2 in the anytime goalscorer market is a little tight but if Stevie G can get on the end of some nod downs 10/1 to be first goalscorer and 7/2 anytime goalscorer can reward. And Paddy Power has a Money-Back Special on this scenario.
Robbie Fowler says
I think England can do it. It’s a tough game but I’m hoping for an England win. I can’t see too many goals being scored as Hodgson won’t change his game-plan much.