Sweden vs. England Preview

Friday’s second match in Group D sees England meet Sweden in Kiev. The two sides met in a friendly back in November, with Gareth Barry scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory for the English. That was the first time England have won this particular battle in 43 years, and Sweden have never lost in the seven competitive meetings between the sides.

Roy Hodgson’s men began their Euro 2012 campaign with a 1-1 draw against Group D favourites France. Joleon Lescott’s header gave England the lead on the half hour mark, before Samir Nasri equalised for the two times European Champions five minutes before the break. Martin Kelly is England’s only injury doubt with a virus, while Wayne Rooney serves the last match of his suspension.

The bookmakers have England as favourites for Friday’s game, with Bet Victor offering the best price of 2.25 (5/4), whilst you can get 4.0 (3/1) from Stan James for the Sweden win. The draw is around about 3.40 (12/5).

Sweden go in to this game bottom of Group D, having lost their opener to co-hosts Ukraine in Monday’s late kick-off. Zlatan Ibrahimovic had given the Swedes the lead shortly after the break with his fourth goal in four internationals, but two goals in seven minutes from Ukraine’s all-time top scorer Andriy Shevchenko turned the game on its head. Defeat here would see Erik Hamren’s side eliminated from the competition, regardless of the outcome of Ukraine’s game with France.

Five of England’s last eight matches have finished in a one-nil victory. With a tight game expected, you might be tempted to back that outcome here, with Bet Victor offering odds of 7.5 (13/2) for that outcome.

Alternatively, you might see more value in backing captain Steven Gerrard – who has scored at the last three tournaments England have participated – to open the scoring at 11.0 (10/1) with most bookmakers.

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